Dear Fans: Please Stop Storming the Court After Inconsequential Wins.

by Dan Oshinsky on January 17, 2010

I’m sorry, because this doesn’t concern either journalism or my mother (1), but this is too much.

At right, delirious Michigan fans are celebrating a win that happened just this afternoon over the University of Connecticut Huskies. Most years, a win over UConn would be a huge deal. But not this year.

This year, UConn’s best win to date is over William & Mary, a Colonial Athletic Association team that has never made the NCAA Tournament. (2)

And I simply cannot stand by while college sports fans are storming the court after their team beats a team whose previous best victory was over a team that has never played in the NCAA Tournament.

Luckily, I happen to run in the kind of circles where such thoughtless court storming is frowned upon. A friend, Ryan Meyer — who you should get LinkedIn with here — started a chain of e-mails last week after the Clemson Tigers defeated his North Carolina Tar Heels, leading to a storming of the court from Clemson fans. He argued — and most agreed — that UNC wasn’t good enough to deserve a court storming.

What was decided upon is that there should be a set of rules for fans to abide by before storming a court.

Those rules are:

1) The opponent your team just beat is ranked in the top 10, and your team is unranked.

2) The opponent is ranked #1 in the country (your team can hold any ranking below #10).

3) Your team wins on an incredible buzzer beater.

4) Your team wins the conference championship. (For example, Siena fans storming the court as their team clinches an NCAA berth.)

5.) Your team was ranked as a 20-point underdog by Vegas oddsmakers.

6.) It’s a massive rivalry game that your team hasn’t won in more than decade.

7.) Your team erased a deficit of 20 or more points during the game.

A combination of several of the above can also justify a court storming. Take the last court storming that I was involved in: Feb. 9, 2009. My Missouri Tigers were losing by 14 points at the half to the Kansas Jayhawks, a hated rival; KU was ranked in the top 15; and Mizzou hit a game winning shot in the last three seconds for the win. It wasn’t a 20-point deficit (rule #7), or a top-10 win (rule #1) or the end to a decade-long drought (rule #6). But the combination of the three puts it over the top:

  1. Which, as you’ll note from the header here at danoshinsky.com, is the main focus of my blogging efforts
  2. N.B.: UConn has beaten two teams that have beaten Top 50 RPI opponents. William & Mary has won at Wake Forest and at Maryland. Notre Dame has beaten West Virginia at home.