Commentary Why doesnt Ohio State basketball do midnight madness

Remember the video of Ohio State men’s basketball players Aaron Craft, Jon Diebler and Jared Sullinger singing Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A?” Do you wish you could see those three sing the song live? If the OSU men’s basketball team had a midnight madness, that performance could happen. Started by Charles “Lefty” Driesell at the University of Maryland, midnight madness is currently a major part of the college basketball world, and it took place last Friday night. Driesell came up with the idea in 1971 to have his Terrapins’ first practice of the season at the earliest possible time that the NCAA would allow: midnight. Schools across the country have since adopted that idea, with the midnight practice now transforming into more of a preseason party hosted by the basketball team than work on the court. Students, alumni and fans gather at a teams’ arena to see their program introduce that year’s team. Different schools do different things, but the event usually involves the team performing a song or dance, the head coach giving a speech, and an intrasquad scrimmage. This year, Connecticut had a dunk contest, Syracuse got Carmelo Anthony to show up and interact with the crowd, and Maryland had an alumni scrimmage featuring some of their current and former NBA players. Nonathlete celebrities show up for the madness as well. Rapper Wale performed at Georgetown’s event last season, and 50 Cent appeared at Villanova’s five years ago. Basically, all the big-time programs have some form of a season tip-off event highlighted by entertaining performances and all-star game-type defense scrimmages. Except for the Buckeyes. It’s not as if OSU doesn’t have a big enough basketball program to host such an event. Two 30-win seasons and a national title game appearance in the last five years, along with an anticipated top-five team this year puts the Buckeyes among the nation’s top teams. Why not celebrate something that OSU does well? With the current state of the football program, the men’s basketball team should be the pride of the athletic department. Hosting an event that takes attention away from the football team and focusing it onto a basketball program that has done nothing but win and represent the school well in recent years needs to happen. The possibilities for the event are endless. A scrimmage between players, both former and current, would certainly entertain. Who wouldn’t want to see Sullinger posting up Greg Oden or William Buford trying to shake Evan Turner? Ohio natives Kid Cudi, Bow Wow, or Chip tha Ripper could perform. If those three aren’t available, I’m sure the crowd wouldn’t mind being serenaded by the voices of Craft and Sullinger. Who knows, maybe known Buckeye fan Lebron James would show up. Either way, OSU is missing out on a big part of the college basketball world, and it’s time for change.

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