Midnight Madness 2021: Schedule for Top NCAA Basketball Teams

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IISeptember 23, 2021

Midnight Madness 2021: Schedule for Top NCAA Basketball Teams

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    Matt Strasen/Associated Press

    College sports are at their best when fans are involved. It's always a better atmosphere when students are cheering on their teams, and that's especially the case when it comes to basketball arenas.

    That's why the 2020-21 season didn't feel quite right. While it was enjoyable to watch college hoops again after March Madness was canceled at the end of the 2019-20 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was something missing.

    For the 2021-22 season, fans will be back. And that means many schools will go back to holding their annual Midnight Madness-type events to signal the start of a new year. It's a way to get the crowds excited about the men's and women's basketball teams a few weeks before games get underway.

    Those events are now quickly approaching. Here's a look at several that will be hosted by top programs to open the new season.

Kansas: Late Night in the Phog

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    When: Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET

    Where: Allen Fieldhouse

    For the 37th time, the Kansas men's and women's basketball teams will begin their seasons with the annual Late Night in the Phog event. And it's sure to be the spectacle that it always is.

    Fans who can't attend can watch on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. There will be activities throughout the day on Kansas' campus, but the main attraction will take place that night.

    According to the Jayhawks' announcement of the event, there will be the finals of a student 3-on-3 tournament, the opportunity for two fans to win $10,000 (straight from men's basketball coach Bill Self) by making a half-court shot, musical and dance performances, team introductions and scrimmages.

    The night will end with a performance by Run-DMC on James Naismith Court.

Memphis Madness

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    When: Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. ET

    Where: FedExForum

    After winning the National Invitation Tournament last year, the Memphis men's basketball team has bigger goals for the 2021-22 season after head coach Penny Hardaway brought in a star-studded recruiting class.

    Meanwhile, the women's team has new leadership with Katrina Merriweather now at the helm.

    Both Tigers teams will kick off what they hope will be successful seasons with Memphis Madness, which will feature team introductions, a dunk contest, a 3-point contest, a skills challenge and scrimmages, according to Memphis' announcement.

    It hasn't yet been announced who the musical performers at the event will be, but in 2019, the school brought in Lil Baby and Future, among others, so there's the potential for some big names to show up.

Kentucky: Big Blue Madness

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    When: Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. ET

    Where: Rupp Arena

    A week before the Kentucky men's basketball team has its annual Blue-White Game, it will team up with the women's squad to host Big Blue Madness. It's the 16th time that the event is being held at Rupp Arena.

    The Wildcats announced that team introductions, practices and more will be taking place at the annual event. Both the men's and women's squads have plenty of experienced players heading into the 2021-22 season and will be looking to have strong showings.

    There hasn't been a lot of information released about this year's Big Blue Madness, but it's sure to be an exciting spectacle as it always is.

More to Know About

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    While not every school has announced a ton of details regarding their kickoff events, here are a few more to know about heading into the 2021-22 season:

    Indiana: Hoosier Hysteria
    When: Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. ET
    Where: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall

    Gonzaga: Kraziness in the Kennel
    When: Oct. 9 at TBD
    Where: McCarthey Athletic Center

    Duke: Countdown to Craziness
    When: Oct. 15 at TBD
    Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium

    North Carolina: Late Night with Hubert
    When: Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET
    Where: Dean Smith Center