It all started with a midnight run at Byrd Stadium on October 14, 1971. Former Maryland head coach Lefty Driesell, trying to gain whatever edge he could on his competition, started his team's first practice of the season literally as soon as he possibly could; midnight on October 14th. And without knowing it, Driesell launched a college basketball phenomenon that is still growing and evolving today. I highly suggest checking out this article by Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis, which talks more about the first Midnight Madness and speaks with Lefty on how everything got started.
#tbt 43 years ago @TerrapinHoops coach Lefty Driesell created Midnight Madness! 10.17.14 8pm #BeThere pic.twitter.com/VD7ejm7TYv— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) October 17, 2014
Schedule and location
XFINITY Center, College Park, MD. The event is free and doors open at 5:00 P.M. with seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. Here's the schedule breakdown
6:00 P.M. - Volleyball takes on Michigan State on the Comcast main court
8:00 P.M. - Maryland Madness begins
8:10 P.M. - Women's Basketball team introductions
8:30 P.M. - Men's Basketball team introductions
9:00 P.M. - Maryland Madness concludes
If you can, make sure you get there early to check out the volleyball match-up with Michigan State. Everything seems to wrap up by 9:00 P.M., but it's unclear when Maryland's special performer will take the stage this evening.
You'll also have the chance to see both the men's and women's team take the court. And don't forget, the women were named the preseason favorites to win the B1G.
BREAKING: Special guest to perform at #SuperB1G Maryland Madness! Be there Friday to find out who... pic.twitter.com/ECRWI0a80w— Maryland Athletics (@umterps) October 14, 2014
It appears that special performer is almost certainly Rae Sremmurd, a hip-hop duo from Mississippi. Several players seem excited about this.
Maryland Madnesses tomorrow going to be Lit!! Come thru!! #ItsFree #SpecialPerformer— Robert Carter Jr. (@_rcj4) October 17, 2014
Typically, there has always been a Maryland Basketball alumni game during Maryland Madness. One isn't listed on the schedule, but the UMD Archieves twitter feed (a great follow by the way), seemed to imply several Maryland basketball alums were going to be at the XFINITY Center on Friday:
We heard some of these guys were around today. Coincidentally, we just received a bunch of sports cards including: pic.twitter.com/RoJUvhMYHm— UMD Archives (@UMDArchives) October 15, 2014
Can't forget these guys either! Who's ready for Maryland Madness?! pic.twitter.com/Ld45KmIM20— UMD Archives (@UMDArchives) October 15, 2014
Based on those tweets, it looks like Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter, Walt Williams, Buck Williams, Steve Francis, Joe Smith, and Chris Wilcox will all be in attendance. Of those seven, six were first round draft picks.
Maryland will also be giving away prizes to one lucky fan and to two students tonight, according to a release from the school:
GENERAL PUBLIC: One lucky fan will win a trip to the 18th annual Big Ten men's basketball tournament in Chicago March 11-15. Fans are eligible to win through a special promotion at Maryland Madness but must be present to win.
STUDENTS: Two students and a guest will win an all-expense paid trip to the 18th annual Big Ten men's basketball tournament in Chicago March 11-15. Students are eligible to win either by check-in via MRewards or a special promotion at Maryland Madness. Winning entries must be in attendance to claim the prize.
Maryland has also been giving away 150 courtside seats to students over the past several days.
Friday will also mark the debut of the new XFINITY Center video boards.
Midnight Madness events are being used more and more as recruiting tools for schools. For Maryland, tonight's event will feature a huge recruiting opportunity for Mark Turgeon and his staff, as several big name recruits will be in the building.
Diamond Stone, the number one center in the class of 2015 and the #5 player overall, will be in attendance on Friday, a day after announcing that Maryland made top four list.
Fellow 5-star stud Harry Giles, the #3 overall player in the 2016 class, will also be in attendance.
There will be several other recruits in attendance, including JuCo point guard Jaylen Brantley. But the headliner here for Maryland is obviously having two top-5 recruits on campus for Friday night's event.
Maryland has also announced that they'll be debuting new uniforms at Friday's Maryland Madness event. When promoting the event, they've referred to it as the Super B1G Maryland Madness event, frequently referencing a Maryland/Superman type logo in the process:
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's #SUPERB1G MARYLAND MADNESS! Mark your calendars for Oct. 17 - 8pm, XFINITY Center. pic.twitter.com/1darFVS9WB— Maryland Athletics (@umterps) October 7, 2014
#CaptureTheCape! Find Jon Graham and win VIP courtside credentials for #SuperB1G Maryland Madness! pic.twitter.com/VZUowrXjZb— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) October 13, 2014
Under Armour has an entire superhero line,which they call their alter-ego collection, so this seems to fit into that theme. But I don't know if they would build an entire uniform around that concept. Other ideas could be a gold Maryland Pride uniform.
And just in case you weren't pumped up already, here's a great basketball hype video you should check out.
VIDEO - Maryland Basketball: We Will! #BTN2Go http://t.co/4nLrF3JmRg via @UMTerps— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) October 10, 2014