CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- The college basketball preseason gets underway this weekend and several America East teams have special events planned.
Binghamton, Boston University, Hartford, Maine and UMBC will conduct late-night events Friday while Albany will hold a scrimmage Saturday.
Binghamton will get the weekend's activities started Friday with its Late Night Madness. Doors to the Events Center open at 8:30 p.m. There will be free food, free t-shirts for the first 700 students, prizes, contests and live music. Fans will get their first look at the men's team under first-year head coach Kevin Broadus and the women's team led by head coach Rich Conover.
UMBC’s Midnight Madness returns to the RAC Arena on Friday from 9:30-11 p.m. The event includes free food and beverages, give-aways, entertainment, music, the school's renowned pep band, cheerleaders and dancers and the introduction of Randy Monroe's men's team and Phil Stern's defending America East Champion women's team.
Hartford's Midnight Mania begins at 10 p.m. Friday. Fans can join head coaches Dan Leibovitz and Jen Rizzotti as they usher in the new season with a night of contests, give-aways and a laser-light show as the Hawks are introduced to the crowd. The festivities begin with the annual student intramural event, followed by performances throughout the evening by the Hawks Cheerleaders, Hartford Dance Team, Howie the Hawk, Fenomena, UHA Steppaz and the Pep Band. Fan competitions–including a banner contest and the always entertaining dance contest–will be held. The first 400 Hartford students in attendance will also receive a free t-shirt.
Maine will hold a Hardwood Hoopla for students at 10 p.m. on Friday at The Pit and then will have open scrimmages for both the men's and women's basketball teams at Alfond Arena on Saturday at 6 p.m. or approximately 15 minutes following the conclusion of the Maine-William and Mary Homecoming Football game. Ted Woodward, and former Black Bear star and first-year head coach Cindy Blodgett will put their teams through the first drills of the season.
Boston University will host Midnight Madness for the first time in five years beginning at 10:30 p.m. Friday at The Roof. Among the highlights is the chance to participate in the three-point shootout against the team of head coaches Dennis Wolff and Kelly Greenberg. Students will have the chance to win a $50,000 tuition scholarship.
The Albany men's basketball Purple & Gold scrimmage is one of the highlights of Homecoming Weekend on that campus. The two-time defending America East Champions will play at at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at SEFCU Arena in an event that is free to the public. From there fans can move over to the Touchdown Tailgate in the SEFCU Arena parking lot for the Family Fun Zone or to watch the band Hair of the Dog, prior to the Great Danes' Homecoming football game vs. Sacred Heart.
Vermont coaches Mike Lonergan and Sharon Dawley will begin practice this weekend, but will wait until next Saturday (October 20) when they will conduct the Catamount Tip-Off, which is open to fans and features scrimmages by both teams along with free refreshments.