If you tune in to much college basketball during any given season, you’re bound to see it. Thousands (or hundreds, depending on the conference) of 18-22 year old college students running on to the court to celebrate their teams victory over a team they presumably shouldn’t have beat. The immortal storming of the court.
It happened at South Carolina when the Gamecocks beat No. 1 ranked Kentucky earlier this year. It happened in 2007 when the Wolfpack knocked off No. 3 ranked North Carolina in Raleigh. It happened Wednesday night when Maryland beat Duke in College Park to set up the potential for a split ACC regular season champion.
It happens all the time. It’s been happening all the time for years. But this year, more than others I can remember, the topic of court storming etiquette seems to keep coming up. The SEC fined South Carolina $25,000 for storming the court following the Kentucky game. The best part about that is that students knew in advance and actually gave the Athletic Director money as they ran by.
At Maryland Wednesday night Duke’s radio broadcast team had their signal interrupted by crazy turtle heads. Is that where the line is drawn? Physical damage to property? It’s debatable.
ESPN’s Rick Reilly took a look at court storming this week and actually came up with a list of rules for when students should or should not rush. Based on a few of them, NC State should rush the court after every home win in the ACC or against any school from a power conference.
Listen, you Froyo freaks, you face-painters, you hoopheads of higher learning: Before you rush the court, storm the court, wreck the court … rush your butts back to your seats while I explain something.
You’re doing it WAY too much.
This isn’t karaoke Tuesdays. It’s not a scheduled event. True rushing the court happens to a school once every 20 years or so. It should be, “Oh, there’s Professor Krumpke. Let’s have him tell us about the time he rushed the court.” It’s like walking down the aisle: If you do it more than twice in your life, you’re doing it wrong.
It’s spontaneous, like a flash flood. It’s unpredictable, like Publishers Clearing House showing up at your front door. It’s as unstoppable as a sneeze and just as unplanned. It carries you away like a tornado. You suddenly find yourself on top of the rim and have no idea how you got there.
Here’s some rules for when NOT to rush, according to Reilly.
- You’ve won an NCAA Championship within the last 20 years. (NC State is free and clear in every sport. Oh wait, sorry Matt Hill. You can’t join in on the fun I guess. Shucks.)
- You’ve been to the Final Four in the last five seasons.
- You won the stupid game by more than 10 points.
- You’re a University and you just beat a college. (Guess that takes care of any thoughts for this Sunday. Sorry Julius Hodge.)
Here’s his rules for when it’s OK to rush.
- Your arena is closing down forever after the game.
- Something stupidly wonderful happens, like a 90-foot David Blaine Special goes in or an air ball bounces off the ref’s head to win your conference. Fine. (Good thing Chandler Parson’s shot didn’t go down in Gainesville. Would have been pandemonium.)
- Jihadists have kidnapped your power forward and are holding him captive near the key.
Whether you agree of disagree with students rushing the court, the one thing that seems fairly clear is that it’s not going to stop. Short of cops standing by the baseline with “less-than-lethal” weapons or Gatorade cooler sized bottles of Mace, students will rush the court and there isn’t much anyone can do about it.