Oct 12, 2012, 8:32 PM EDT
Midnight Madness is exactly that. It’s pandemonium, chaos, and excitement. All in the name of college basketball. The first official day of the college basketball season is more of a party than a practice, with extravagant entrances (Tom Izzo) to celebrity appearances and clips that will light up YouTube.
Midnight Madness takes campuses across the country by storm. However, the first Midnight Madness began as a conditioning test for the University of Maryland men’s basketball team 41 years ago.
In College Park, Md., head coach Lefty Driesell had his players run a mile in under six minutes, as their first test of the season. Usually he began the season with an afternoon practice starting at 3 p.m., but because of the mile run, practice didn’t officially start until around 4 p.m. and by then players were tired from the run.
“The rule was you could start practice one minute past midnight on October 15. I said, ‘Why don’t we run the mile one minute past midnight on October 15, so we could have a better practice that afternoon?’”
The first reported Midnight Madness practice took place at Byrd Stadium on the Maryland campus, with the only light coming from cars parked around the track.
Driesell, now 80-years-old, amassed 786 victories in his career, while unintentionally providing the game with one it’s more iconic nights.
- Andrew Harrison’s late free throws send No. 1 Kentucky to the Final Four 31
- Sam Dekker, Frank Kaminsky catch fire as No. 1 Wisconsin beats No. 2 Arizona 7
- Rick Barnes is no longer the head coach at Texas 10
- Frank Kaminsky’s growth results in individual and team benefits for No. 1 Wisconsin 3
- Tourney Snacks: Duke-Gonzaga, Louisville-Michigan State advance to Elite 8 11
- No. 1 Duke advances to Elite 8 with win over No. 5 Utah 2
- No. 2 Gonzaga gets past No. 11 UCLA to advance to Elite 8 2
- Andrew Harrison’s late free throws send No. 1 Kentucky to the Final Four (43)
- Kentucky’s John Calipari is the National Coach of the Year, and it’s not close (36)
- Kentucky responds to Daxter Miles Jr.’s pregame comments (30)
- Updated tournament records: Big Ten, SEC champions headed to Indy (25)
- West Virginia freshman on Kentucky: ‘They’re going to be 36-1′ (20)