For many college students across the country, the most memorable moment of their college experience comes from storming the court after their school pulls off a huge victory.
It is one of the few times when an entire campus comes together as one, and it’s hard to find any negative in that.
But the fact is that storming the court has lost its meaning; it’s not genuine anymore. Sure, the theme of the college basketball this year is the colossal upset, but it seems like every other game I watch, fans are storming the court.
Take for instance, the most recent court storming in college basketball when Virginia took down No. 3 Duke 73-68 in Charlottesville, Va.
Lost in the euphoria of Virginia fans celebrating on their home court is that they were only a 1-point underdog against the Blue Devils. According to some, they were actually 1-point favorites, which shouldn’t come as a surprise for a team that possesses one of the best home court advantages in college basketball this year.
The problem here is that everything apparently warrants a court storming these days. How can you storm the court when you knew coming in that your team had a legitimate shot at winning? I was always under the impression that court storming only occurred when David beat Goliath. Duke may be Goliath, but Virginia was no David. Neither was North Carolina State, Miami or Maryland, who all also stormed the court after taking down Duke this year.
That’s not even the worst part about it, because the bottom line here is that the more times these court stormings occur, the greater the odds are that someone gets seriously hurt.
In the delirium following North Carolina State’s win over Duke earlier this season, a student was unintentionally pushed out of his wheelchair as his classmates rushed onto the floor behind him. If star player C.J. Leslie wasn’t there to hold him upright during the celebration, he may have been trampled.
The losing players and coaches can be just as vulnerable as well. Mike Krzyzewski, known by many as Coach K, was furious after security failed to safely escort his team off the court before the Virginia fans flooded the court, and rightfully so.
“Just put yourself in the position of one of our players or coaches,” Coach K said after the loss. “I’m not saying any fan did this, but the potential is there all the time for a fan to just go up to you and say, ‘Coach you’re a [expletive],’ or push you or hit you. And what do you do? What if you did something? That would be the story. We deserve that type of protection.”
He has a point and that’s why guidelines need to be put in place.
Generally speaking, the only time court storming should be acceptable is if it meets two out of the three criteria: It’s a top-5 upset, the home team is unranked or the game is won on a last second shot or buzzer beater.
However, exceptions can be made on the matter. Examples are No. 13 Butler’s buzzer beater against No. 8 on Jan. 19 and Notre Dame’s five-overtime marathon against No. 11 Louisville on Feb. 9. It’s not hard to understand why those games get a pass if you watched them unfold live.
Those exceptions don’t give every team with a big win a pass though. The time is now for these court storming-happy teams to take a good, hard look in the mirror.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for court storming when the time is right, but let’s try not to overdo it here.
Leading in today’s Crimson White: