Fans rushing the court has made the news wires again thanks to Coach K. The incident has provoked high-profile Twitter tête-à-têtes. It’s all feeling more than a bit stale, the surest sign the stormings are happening far too often. Once a spontaneous outburst, rushing the court has become “that thing you do when your team wins a big game.” Enough. Some might delve into gambling lines or expend words Simmons-style on intricate breakdowns. We’ve just provided three common sense rules, with a couple mitigating exceptions.
Don’t rush the court if athletic excellence is the expectation at your school. This includes major athletic departments: Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame. This includes schools with strong, basketball-specific traditions: North Carolina, Michigan State, UCLA, Indiana etc.
Half-empty: you don’t enjoy that part of the college experience. Half-full: your teams win all the freaking time, you ass.
Don’t rush the court in a rivalry game. Sure, the blood gets hot. Temper it. The degree of celebration afterward is a measure of the wavering and uncertainty that came before it. Don’t give the enemy the satisfaction.
Don’t rush the court if your team is ranked in the top 25. If you’re projected as a top five NCAA seed, you should be able to hang with the No. 1 team at home. It may be an upset. It should not be a surprising one.
Exception No. 1 (Buzzer Beater)
On rare occasions, a court-storming happens organically. No premeditation. The crowd surges forward. It happens the way it was meant to happen. If your team fought back from a huge deficit in the second half and drained a cathartic three to win it at the buzzer, we might relax the aforementioned rules… a bit.
Exception No. 2 (Duke)
Your victory was for America. It was for everyone that has had to stop what they were doing to triple check each spelling of “Krzyzewski” on deadline. Most importantly, storming the court will really, really irritate Mike Krzyzewski. It’s a bonafide lock he will make “the face” and find some contrived whine for the media. Enjoy the spoils.
The NCAA cracking down on fans rushing the court in the name of player safety, after doing absolutely nothing about concussions, rampant and unchecked painkiller usage and off-season training regimes that have hospitalized and have killed student-athletes, would be the most “NCAA” response ever. Expect it to happen.
[Photo via @CJZero]