NCAA BK

Midnight Madness kicks off college hoops season

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Storrs, CT (Sports Network) - The Huskies, North Carolina Tar Heels and Jayhawks were among several schools that kicked off the start of the college basketball season early Saturday with the annual tradition of Midnight Madness. Under NCAA guidelines, teams are not allowed to begin practice for the season until 12:01 a.m. local time on Saturday. The season will officially kick off on November 12 with a series of games.

The idea of practicing at the first possible minute was started by Lefty Driesell, who retired as coach at in the middle of last season. Driesell began Midnight Madness while the head coach at in 1970.

Since 1970, the festivities have taken off and now include fan activities that have generated more excitement.

The Huskies, who are expected to have both the top-ranked men's and women's team when the first official preseason polls are announced, kicked off their highly anticipated seasons with "Husky Hysteria." UConn's women coached by Geno Auriemma won the National Championship last season, while the men's team led by Jim Calhoun lost to Texas in the Sweet 16.

North Carolina began its Midnight Madness by bringing out new head coach Roy Williams, who had spent the past 14 seasons in Kansas. Williams will continue his long-standing tradition of "Late Night with Roy Williams" as he celebrates the dawn of a new era at Chapel Hill.

Bill Self replaced Williams at Kansas and continued the tradition of Midnight Madness in Lawrence. As part of the evening's events, the 1988 National champion Jayhawks were honored, including Danny Manning, who is now part of Self's coaching staff.

Kansas reached the title game last season before losing to 81-78.

The Orangemen are among many schools that opt against Midnight Madness and will begin their practices Saturday afternoon.

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