It's that time of year again ... the time when your favorite college basketball program gets you super-pumped up with a glorified pep rally then makes you sit on your hands for three weeks waiting for the big tip off against Marathon Oil. Go team! This institutionalized blue balls is brought to you by the NCAA rule that allows teams to hold their first practice (this year) at midnight on October 17. Unless you're Kentucky, in which case, you do what ever the hell you want.Most schools will hold their first open practice on Friday night, but the Wildcats are one of four teams that already held their Midnight Madness celebrations. See, there's another NCAA rules that says you're allowed two hours of "instruction" each week starting in September (that's not practice?) so why not invite 20,000 people over and have a pizza party?
"Everybody in the country could have done the same thing," Kentucky basketball spokesman DeWayne Peevy said. "It didn't cause any problems for us here. If there was a rule in place that prevented us from doing it, we wouldn't have had a problem in abiding by that."As we all know, Kentucky cares very much about rules. In fact, that's probably what they hired Larry Orton to talk about when he was paid to speak at their camps this summer. Who the eff is Larry Orton? He the father of Daniel Orton, a top high-school recruit ... who just committed to Kentucky! How about that? Oh, by the way, that's not illegal and Kentucky is certainly not the only school to do it, but hey ... welcome to college sports! One other thing: this is Tom Izzo preparing to dine in hell at Michigan State's Midnight Madness last year. I share this with you, because ... look at the guy. That's one of the most respected men in the game, right there. I will now go weep into my Street and Smith's. • "Midnight madness comes early at some schools via practice loophole" [SI] • KENTUCKY COMMIT NO SURPRISE [Fox Sports] • UK's 2008 Midnight Madness [video @ Kentucky.com] • Tar Heels on top as season sets to begin [Andy Katz] • Top 65 countdown [Rivals/Yahoo]