Calm before the storm
Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, March 3, 2013 18:03
There is an authenticity in college sports, a tradition that is made apparent every time there is an upset.
Fans who witness upsets in person anticipate a time in their team’s history when they will have the opportunity to storm the court in celebration.
Last season, our basketball fans were able to storm the court following a victory against Bowling Green that gave Buffalo a triple bye to the MAC semifinals. As great as that feat was in the 2011-12 season, Saturday night’s victory was more of a statement.
The Bulls (11-17, 7-7 MAC) upset No. 24 Akron (23-5, 13-1 MAC), 81-67, in a game in which all eyes were on the Zips. Talk has been circulating of the team receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Until this weekend’s matchup, the Zips owned the longest win streak in college basketball at 19 games. The Bulls had never beaten a ranked opponent.
All the components were put in place for a storybook ending, but not one student was allowed to rush onto the floor of Alumni Arena to celebrate the victory.
It was devastating to see a student section filled up for the first time since the home opener against Princeton wanting to rush the floor but barricaded by officers and administration.
I guess I can understand where the school is coming from. Higher-ups want to protect the students and players from any confrontation.
But the Bulls just earned a nod in the UB history books. For Buffalo sports fans, it makes sense – we know that these kinds of upsets are hard to come by.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils feels storming the court is overused in basketball.
“When we’ve lost in the last 20 years, everybody rushes the court,” Krzyzewski said. “Whatever you’re doing, you need to get the team off first. Celebrate, have fun. Obviously, you won. That’s cool, but just get our team off the court and our coaching staff before students come on.”
Sounds like Coach K was a little annoyed that his team was upset for the third time this season. But my point is this: Don’t lose on the road and then you won’t have to suffer through seeing a court full of fans celebrating your defeat.
I enjoy the site of a court filled with students and athletes celebrating their victory over big-time ranked opponents.
Do I feel it can be overused at times? Sure. But that does not take away from my love of spontaneity in collegiate sports.
This has never been a problem in college basketball and players and coaches need to understand to take a loss and move on.