For four decades, college basketball has begun during the fall with an event dubbed Midnight Madness. It's an attempt to show fan support and team spirit by keeping everybody up until 12 am, the instant when NCAA rules allow teams to start practicing for the season. Conveniently, all but about a half-dozen members of a given college student body would be up anyway well past midnight, meaning the spectacle mainly poses sleep-deprivation hardships for sportswriters, coaches, and others who describe themselves as adults.
Saturday (Feb. 20) brings to the University of Washington what could better be called Dawn Fawn-ness. On that morning Hec Edmundson Pavilion will host the weekly ESPN "College Game Day" program. Hec Ed is scheduled to open at 6:30 a.m. for the free event: a live broadcast and taping of the famed Saturday wrap-up of upcoming college play for the weekend.
"Upcoming" for the Husky men's team that day will mean coming up in about a half a day. The Dawgs don't actually jump center with UCLA until 6 p.m. Those who attend the dawn event will need to leave the facility when festivities end, probably about 9 a.m.
Those who have seen the basketball and football versions of the weekly program know that it usually is loud and colorful. Indeed, Husky officials urge those who either get up early or (perhaps just as likely) pull the proverbial all-nighters to wear team colors and bring full-throated voices.
While the event is free and "while-they-last" complimentary donuts are promised, parking in adjacent lots will cost either $7 or $15, depending on proximity.
In any case, taping/broadcasting is to begin at 8 a.m. "Game Day" regulars Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Digger Phelps are expected to be there. The headliner of sorts, however, is former Indiana coach Bob Knight, known to many either (or maybe both) as the greatest genius of all basketball mentors or the biggest, chair-throwingest, player-beratingest, ref-F-bombingest @#$%! who ever lived.