First off, I understand. I understand why fans rushed the court after WVU’s 74-63 victory over Kansas. In fact, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t participate in it.
I was there, center-court, singing “Country Roads” with thousands of other fans. It was a special moment, one that will forever be embedded in my memories, but should fans truly have stormed the court? I don’t believe so.
Court-storming has become such a regular event, that the reasoning behind storming the court has somewhat gone forgotten. Fans began storming the court when their programs pulled off upsets over teams that were superior to theirs.
Basically, storming the court is something that programs began doing when their teams won games that they were not supposed to. Was that the case Tuesday night?
Kansas entered the game ranked no. 1 in the country, but 0-2 in Morgantown over the last two seasons. WVU entered ranked 11th, and as a mere 2 point underdog. Once the game ended, and the musket was fired, the gates were opened and fans rushed onto the court.
That same night, an unranked Michigan knocked off no. 3 Maryland in Ann Arbor but the fans stayed in their seats and did not rush the court. I understand “Maryland” does not carry the same weight as “Kansas” but still, this was an unranked team knocking off a top 5 team.
The fans in Michigan did not storm because they expect these wins from their program, and Michigan has established themselves as a top-tier program despite their recent downward trend.
The same should go for WVU, and fans should grow to expect these wins. During the Bob Huggins era, WVU has made the NCAA tournament six out of eight times, advancing to the sweet 16 three of those times, and of course the magical Final Four run in 2010.
Last year, WVU advanced to one of those mentioned Sweet 16’s.
WVU fans are used to the success this program carries along with it. WVU has established itself as a program that is consistently present on the national stage, and wins have never been easy to come by in Morgantown.
Therefore, as WVU continues to establish itself as a national contender and develop longevity on the national stage, wins like these will become expected by the Mountaineers.
This is a special year for West Virginia basketball. With no team making a statement as the “team to beat” this would be the perfect year for WVU to make another run deep into March and early April.
The win against Kansas proved that WVU has the ability to beat anybody in the country, and it should no longer come as a surprise.
I know storming the court is an incredible experience, but it is a sacrifice that comes along with being a top-tier program. A sacrifice we should all be willing to make.