The summer is the dark ages for college basketball, but finally, Midnight Madness is just on the horizon. Midnight Madness, more a showcase and a party than an actual practice, used to take place on the Friday closest to Oct. 15. This year, the NCAA changed the rules allowing teams to begin practice two weeks earlier than that. As a result, Midnight Madness is no longer the nation-wide event that it used to be, with teams each holding their first practice on various Fridays throughout October.
Here are when some of the top teams in the nation announced their own Midnight Madness.
Kentucky - Big Blue Madness, Oct. 18
One of the big perks of any midnight madness style event is the recruiting angle of it. Coaches love to show potential recruits just how loud, raucous and fun the hometown arena can be. Kentucky coach John Calipari is well aware of the impact the scene can have on the young mind. Stanley Johnson and Emmanuel Mudiay, two of the top in the class of 2014, will be on hand, probably along with plenty more. Rupp Arena is one of the premiere destinations in college basketball, and Big Blue Madness highlights all of its attractions.
Michigan State - Michigan State Madness, Oct. 18
From his sideline demeanor, not many people would guess that Tom Izzo embraces Midnight Madness to the extent he does. While his bizarre hippie costume was truly something special, Izzo blew everything and everyone out of the water last year with an Iron Man outfit. The biggest hurdle to Michigan State's quest for a title doesn't really have to do with basketball. It is how Izzo will outdo himself this year.
Duke - Countdown to Craziness, Oct. 18
As it seems exactly how Duke would, Countdown to Craziness begins at 4 p.m. and has a very rigid timetable to adhere to. It all begins with face painting and inflatable games and ends with a scrimmage four and a half hours later. The top of the 2014 recruits won't be in attendance in Durham, however, as Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones already attended the event last year. If you're interest is piqued enough, the event will be streamed live on GoDuke.com.
Kansas - Late Night in the Phog, Oct. 4
Out of most of the major basketball schools, only Kansas embraced the earlier potential start time. Because of it they have three recruits scheduled to visit the school over the weekend, Cliff Alexander, Kelly Oubre and Malik Pope (all top-20 according to Rivals). As for the most desirable package of Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones? They'll be skipping Late Night and coming to Kansas on Oct. 18.
Syracuse - Orange Madness, Oct. 18
It took Jim Boeheim a while to formally announce the Orange's participation in the Madness, but they chose the same night as new conference mates Duke for their event. Boeheim wasn't the biggest fan of the NCAA rule changes, although he didn't mind the potential for a couple extra days of practice. Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard he'd prefer to keep it the way it was.