Going into the 1982-83 basketball season, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Joe B. Hall wanted to get the UK student body excited for his team. It had been a few years since the team had won a national championship – four seasons to be exact – and he wanted the students to connect with this team, their team.
“It wasn’t anything intelligent on my part,” Hall said. “It was simply to have a practice for the student body, kind of a humorous way to start the year’s practice on the first allowable minute. The NCAA said you could start practice October 15, so that meant at 12:01 a.m. you were legal to practice. The students like to have something to do at midnight that was legitimate, so we put notices in the [residence halls] and the classrooms that we were going to have an open practice for the students at midnight.”
The first Big Blue Madness, billed as “Midnight Special,” did not have all the glitz and glam that is now associated with UK’s first practice.