At the end of the Syracuse game I was bitter. I hated that the Hoyas didn't perform well, and I hated that I had to watch the Orange's fans storm the court (see below).
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how inappropriate the scene from the Carrier Dome really was. I have heard several people discuss court-storming etiquette over the course of the season. Well before the Syracuse game I caught a discussion on ESPN radio's GameNight concerning a game between Kentucky and Florida. Kentucky really needed to beat Florida (who was the number one team in the land at the time). On Kentucky fan sites people were posting messages about their plans to storm the hardwood if the Wildcats pulled off the upset. The ESPN personality who was hosting the show that night (I can't recall who it was) was dismayed. His point was that if you're Kentucky, one of the proudest programs in all of NCAA basketball history, you simply do not storm the court. Period. It cheapens your program. You should leave that to the other programs that don't have all those national championship banners.
I generally agree. Not every big win requires fans to storm the court. If you're Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, or Duke I can't imagine a situation where a court-storming is called for. For most other major programs, I don't think that fans should storm the court unless you beat a number 1 and you're not really a contender. If you're a small time program and you beat a top-10 team in a classic David vs. Goliath show down, then storm away. Otherwise, forget about it.
Syracuse won the National Championship in 2003. They won the Big East tournament just last year. Are you trying to tell me that their program is so hard up that beating the number 10 team in the land justifies bedlam? I don't think so.
Luckily, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy of ESPN.com's Page 2, wrote about this very subject on his blog. After watching the scene following the GU-Cuse game he had this to say:
In case you missed it, the Syracuse fans charged the court after toppling Georgetown on Monday night. The NCAA needs to pass a new rule: Students are only allowed to charge the court if their team (A) just won a tournament, (B) upset the No. 1 team in the nation, (C) advanced to the Final Four, or (D) beat Duke and made Coach K nearly cry during the game to the point that he looked like a quivering ninny. Under no other scenario is court-charging acceptable -- if it happens under any other circumstance, you forfeit the game. Case closed.
There you have it. The Sports Guy has spoken. No more court storming. Capiche?