Vandy has first madness in 6 years

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- With higher expectations than ever before, Vanderbilt wanted to kick off this season with a party.

So the Commodores, a team with Final Four aspirations this season, began the first day of practice by hosting their first Midnight Madness session in six years on Friday night.

Vanderbilt went 23-11 last season but failed to get out of the first round of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year. All five starters and the top three reserves return.

Among those coming back are John Jenkins, Jeffery Taylor and Festus Ezeli -- all three passed on entering the NBA draft last spring.