by Bert Beiswanger
I was at the Pacers game Tuesday night with a friend and we were following the Indiana-Wisconsin game on ESPN Gamecast. When it appeared IU was going to win, I said to my friend, “They better not storm the court.” I don’t know what made me think that but I did. And I was apparently right to think it.
Look, I know a lot of IU fans who thought it was embarrassing for a program with such prestige to have fans storming the court at all, let alone after a game in January. But to the fans who were involved with the storming the floor act after the thrilling IU win, I’ve got a message for you: ENOUGH.
Maybe part of freshman orientation at IU should include a Hoosier constitutional fact that, under no circumstance, are you to storm the floor – unless, MAYBE, it’s to beat Purdue in the last game of the year when both are fighting for the Big Ten title…MAYBE.
This is Indiana. Wins like Tuesday night should be expected. And…it’s Wisconsin. Yes, I know they’re very good, ranked #3 in the latest poll and Bo Ryan is about as good as they come coaching-wise. But seriously, the hallowed Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall houses a heck of a lot of history built on bigger wins than that.
Storming the court has become a tired, non-creative act in college basketball – not to mention dangerous. But it’s downright pathetic for IU fans. What was that, ”WE’RE BACK” version 2.0? I can understand it a couple of years ago after all the hardship the program went through. But not now, not after you’ve already declared you’re back.
This is Indiana. IU is supposed to win games like that. And listening to many IU fans last year, you would have thought the program was back on the same level as Kentucky, Carolina, Kansas, etc. – which it’s not. Don’t misconstrue this as piling on Indiana. I grew up a die-hard fan myself. But storming the court? Come on fans, you’re better than that.
It’s time for IU fans to stop storming the court after a home court win in January. And it’s time to stop cutting nets down after getting run off your home floor (see last home game of 2012-2013 versus Ohio State) – ok, that may seem like a cheap shot, whatever. But it just seemed odd at the time. Either you’re mighty Indiana or you’re just another program. Choose one or the other.
But, hey, I get it a little bit. When Ball State basketball rises from the ashes of the mediocrity of the last ten years to knock off a MAC power like Kent, Akron or Ohio U., stay the hell out of my way. My storm will be so fierce the National Weather Service will have to name it!
Follow on Twitter @BertBeis