As If There Wasn't Enough Going On, Midnight Madness Arrives

Let's take a look at the sports calendar: MLB playoffs, NFL, College Football and NHL regular season. NBA preseason. The Chase in NASCAR. Hmmm, need something else to occupy that time when you should probably be sleeping? I submit tonight's event: college basketball's various Midnight Madness festivities across the country. ↵

↵I'm a college hoops guy at heart, and I have fond memories as a kid in Cincinnati of this night. Who can forget Cory Clouse sinking that halfcourt shot with Dickie V. going nuts? (I’m actually shocked I can't find it on YouTube, but guarantee you'll see it tonight.) If you're dying for a hoops fix, flip on the four-hour ESPNU coverage of all the fun. ↵

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↵The network will check out UConn, Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina, North Dakota State and Washington. ↵

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↵That made my heart skip a beat typing all of those teams. Here's what I'll be watching tonight as schools officially get practice under way. ↵

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↵JOHN WALL. JOHN WALL. JOHN WALL. I'm kind of elated to see the marriage of John Wall and John Calipari begin in Lexington. Who isn't excited about this? (Well, who isn't outside of the SEC, I should say.) ↵

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↵How is Jerome Dyson doing? More than a few people -- rightly so -- felt like Dyson's injury removed the Huskies as a legitimate adversary for North Carolina last season. Is he recovered and ready to be the man for UConn? That's an excellent backcourt if he's healthy and ready to run with sophomore Kemba Walker. ↵

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↵The Phog. Kansas has one of the more unique Midnight Madness showcases, and there will be plenty of pageantry at Late Night in the Phog, but I want to see how this team looks in its first big public appearance since an ugly offseason. They're the preseason No. 1, but a cloud of controversy hovers over the team. ↵

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↵Year 1, A.T. That'd be "After Tyler." Forward Ed Davis is an All-American in waiting as a sophomore, but I can't wait for that first look at who fills the voids left by the likes of Danny Green, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington. ↵

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↵After Kalin Lucas, who steps up? Michigan State has the wonderful problem of too much depth. Teams that win titles might have depth, but when it matters, they generally lean on a rotation of no more than eight players. Who steps forward this year as the Robin to Lucas' Batman? ↵

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↵Top Dogs. The top Huskies in the nation are generally at UConn, but I give Washington the edge this year. Why? Look at that backcourt people. Open your eyes and embrace the trio of Isaiah Thomas, Venoy Overton and Abdul Gaddy. Gaddy is a McDonald's All-American and a prime one-and-done candidate. How does he work himself into that already talented backcourt? ↵

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↵And mind you, I'm just talking about tonight. This is going to be a fun season. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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