"Seahawks After Dark: The Evolution of Midnight Madness" is an exhibit highlighting Midnite Madness at the University of North Carolina Wilmington then and now. It can be viewed at the University of North Carolina Wilmington Randall Library during library operating hours.
Midnite Madness honors the start of the UNCW basketball season. It was first held in 1990 and has become a popular annual event.
Historically, players could not legally take the court to train until midnight of the approved day. To give players more time to practice, in 1971, the University of Maryland started practice 12:03. This quickly spread to other Universities and became a solid tradition within twenty years.
Midnight Madness at UNCW was held again in 1991, but then stopped until 1996. Two years later in 1998, the name changed spelling from Midnight to Midnite to avoid copyright infringement
Other events were added in later years such as the Fan Jam in 1999 that originally started out before the main event. In 2006 former student Adrienne Strain organized a Trask Trek that allowed off-campus students a chance to come together and celebrate.
NCAA rules changed in 2012 to allow men’s teams to practice two weeks earlier than before, but did not include the women’s teams. UNCW celebrates both teams at the same event, so our Midnite Madness tends to stay around the original date.
Today, after a few rule changes, a name change, and the addition of other campus-wide events, Midnite Madness has evolved to become a week-long celebration for men’s and women’s basketball.
The exhibit showcases photographs and other objects from Midnite Madness history portraying Seahawk spirit.
Seahawks After Dark is on display from October 12, 2015 until February 5, 2016 and can be found adjacent to University Archives, Randall Library Room 2008. It is in an exhibit case in between Honors College and University Archives.