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Are you ready for ... September Madness?

Michigan State's Tom Izzo will need to break out the Midnight Madness costume a month early this season. (Al Goldis/AP) Michigan State's Tom Izzo will need to break out the Midnight Madness costume a month early this season. (Al Goldis/AP)

Midnight Madness, the annual kickoff to the college basketball season's official practices that was no longer held at midnight, now will no longer be held in October, either. The NCAA announced on Friday that a long-discussed proposal has been approved that now provides teams with the ability to hold up to 30 practices in the 42 days (six weeks) before the start of the season. This year, the season tips off on Friday, Nov. 8.

And maybe we'll get back to wackier times for the on-campus events, as well? The NCAA release also said that the requirement to wait until 5 p.m. to hold the initial practices has been removed. The 42-day period was set to have the first practices also land on a Friday instead of a Sunday, to help enable bigger events on campus. So, Mid-morning Madness? Midday Madness? Get creative, college promotional staffs!

This is a welcome development, setting the men's calendar closer to the one the women's game has been operating on, and closing the gap between the end of summer and the start of "official" practice. With the 2013-14 season dripping with potential intrigue, getting into the heart of it sooner sounds just fine.

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