STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut’s “First Night” celebration no longer marks the opening of basketball season, but that isn’t stopping the school from holding the fan-friendly gathering at Gampel Pavilion.

The UConn men’s and women’s basketball players are being introduced Friday night with the traditional pomp and pyrotechnics. This year’s event will feature a scrimmage of mixed teams made up of players from both squads.

That will take the place of the usual dunking and 3-point shooting contests.

Connecticut’s version of midnight madness traditionally marked the first day teams were allowed to practice before the upcoming season.

But the NCAA recently changed its rules, allowing practices to start two weeks ago. UConn’s men took advantage of the rule change, while the women chose to start practice this week.


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