The Bar Mitzvah was originally intended to be an intimate occasion meant to honor young men as they became old enough to handle the responsibilities and traditions of their people.
Midnight Madness was originally intended to be an intimate occasion to honor young men as they began the process of handling the responsibilities and tradition of the players that came before them.
As Jewish culture modernized the event, the Bar Mitzvah became less about the sacred traditions and more about the celebration itself.
As Midnight Madness modernized, it became less about critical basketball practices and more about the spectacle of it all.
Nowadays both have become bloated, excessive galas that exist solely to photographers have something to do, are more for the guests than for the host and showcase old, white men dancing horribly.
Also, for no discernible reason, both seem to only feature early 90's hip-hop. You will never attend a Bar Mitzvah without hearing C&C Music Factory at least once. Probably twice.
And, it seems, you will not attend a Midnight Madness event without seeing someone dress up like Vanilla Ice. Like, say, Kansas head coach Bill Self:
Or perhaps someone will show up to another event dressed up like Naughty by Nature. Like, say, the actual members of Naughty by Nature, who will appear at Syracuse's Midnight Madness this week. They were available.
In the end, Bar Mitzvah boys walk away with a bunch of checks for $36 and some savings bonds from some lady claiming to be his great aunt. Midnight Madness boys walk away with the knowledge that their head coach, who commands their respect, does not look good in gold parachute pants.
If there's any difference between the two, that is it.