Here we go again. Indiana fans and some national observers coming out of the woodwork taking IU students to task for rushing the court Tuesday night after IU knocked off the No. 3 team in the nation, Wisconsin, 75-72 at Assembly Hall.
My reaction: Really?
These are college kids. They're 18-22 years old. They're caught up in the moment. Their team, which hasn't had a great deal of early success has just knocked off the No. 3 team in the nation on national television. The place has been jumping for over two hours and the fans want to show their appreciation.
And those on the outside want to complain about it. I just don't get it. Wednesday should have been a day where people were calling the radio talk shows to talk about the significance of IU's win. Instead they were calling to weigh in about rushing the floor.
I think it's ridiculous.
Let me anticipate a few of the comments and give you my take.
Act like you've been there before
Why? Many of these kids haven't been there before. Many won't be there again. How many times in your college career do you usually have a chance to knock off a top three team in the nation in your building? It can't be a common occurrence.
Indiana has played 613 games in Assembly Hall in history. The Hoosiers have a record of 514-99 in the building. How many of those 514 games were wins against teams ranked in the top three? The answer: 10.
How many of those 10 were games when Indiana wasn't ranked going into the game? The answer there is six, including Tuesday night.
The point is it doesn't happen that often. So why not let the kids enjoy it when it does?
The players could get trampled
The players are usually smart enough to get out of the way. The losing teams' players get out of the way quickly. The home team guys stay out there for a few minutes and celebrate with their classmates but they generally don't linger too long either.
Someone else could get hurt
Sure but usually those are people that are rushing onto the court, and I'm thinking those people are taking a calculated risk when they do so. If you're not rushing the court, you're sitting back and watching the whole thing unfold.
Indiana is better than that
Again, these are college kids enjoying the college experience. These kids weren't born the last time IU won a national championship. The place was jumping and the kids got caught up in the moment. Nothing more, nothing less.
And here is one other thing to think about.
Every IU home game, before the starting lineups are announced, the lights go off and the scoreboard lights up with all of the highlights. And every game, it ends with the Watford Shot against Kentucky and you see the fans pouring on the court and that moment is relived over and over again.
Some of the people in the building were there that day. But a whole bunch of them were not. And I'm guessing the students that weren't there wish they were there. And so here comes a game against a 16-0 team ranked No. 3 in the nation that has beaten your school 12 times in a row.
You have spent the last two hours trying to do everything you could as the sixth man to will your team to a victory.
And the victory is won. Why shouldn't you be allowed to rush the court and celebrate that moment?
I have no problem with it. And if Ohio State comes into Assembly Hall March 2 and they happen to be ranked in the top 3 and Indiana knocks the Buckeyes off, I hope the students rush the floor again.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch