Midnight Madness Off to an Early Start

College hoops season got underway at 7pm
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2007 5:50 AM CDT
Members of the Maryland men's basketball team perform a dance routine in white tuxedos and top hats during Maryland Madness celebrations Friday, Oct. 12, 2007 in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The first official practices for NCAA basketball teams tipped off at 7pm last night with varying degrees of hoopla, ESPN reports. Schools like UCLA and Washington State eschewed the "madness" aspect as well as the "midnight," but others put on spectacles for sellout crowds. "Until you go through it you'd never understand it," says Kentucky's new coach Bill Gillispie.

The opening-night practices, which used to be held at midnight, were moved up by the NCAA to avoid sending students out onto the roads in the early hours. While teams like North Carolina and Maryland go all out with skits, Tony Bennett said his surging Washington State team "can't make too much of last year," and will be practicing in private.