Midnight (or 7 p.m.) Madness is here

I know many of you are probably caught up in the baseball playoffs, and Game 1 of the ALCS tonight between the Yankees and Rangers. But I'd be remiss if I did not point out that, as of 7 p.m. tonight, the college basketball season has begun!

It's Midnight Madness night, when college hoops teams across the country can begin full practices, according to NCAA rule.

(Except, as of 2005, teams can actually begin practicing five hours earlier -- the NCAA moved up the time, so more fans might attend opening-night events and be safer traveling home.)

As I write this, St. John's is holding its 2010 Red Storm Tip-Off event at Carnesecca Arena on campus, starring new head coach Steve Lavin.

If you want to catch a bit of the festivities, tune into the four-hour Midnight Madness special, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET, on ESPNU. St. John's will be one of the schools featured during the telecast, with ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor John Anderson MC'ing the event in Queens, and ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb also in attendance.