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.
Driesell explained his reasoning for moving the mile run to midnight to Alicia Jessop of Forbes:
“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.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.