It’s no secret that when it comes to college sports, I have a team in Virginia Tech, no matter how disappointing they are in football, no matter how mediocre they are in basketball, and no matter how much of a non-factor they are in baseball. However, I have another team that I favor pretty often: whomever is playing against Duke.
Last night, North Carolina defeated Duke, which the fact of that alone is pleasing, but the visuals that accompanied the discovery of such news were absolutely abhorring. After the clock wound down, the people of the Dean Dome stormed the court.
The University of North Carolina stormed the court after defeating Duke in men’s basketball.
Now I believe that there is a lot of importance in the act of storming the court (especially when it’s after defeating Duke), but in addition to the importance of doing it, there’s as much meaning behind in when storming the court isn’t done.
UNC is one of the few basketball programs in the country that should absolutely never storm the court upon defeating Duke. They’re supposed to be Duke’s greatest rivals; equal, if not better, having a superior educational program and students and alumni of a higher class.
Doing it might have seemed cool and like a great idea at the time, but it’s probably going to have some petty, obnoxious (and very much white) repercussions. Articles (again) about opponents storming the court on Duke by the Duke studentpubs, and heaven have mercy on all UNC fans if Duke wins the rematch on March 8 in Durham, because retribution will be insufferable and cringeworthy when Duke fans storm their own court in defeat of Carolina.
Storming the court is something that lesser programs do when defeating programs that are supposed to be superior. Pretty much every school in the ACC feels the need to storm the court whenever they defeat Duke, because frankly they’re never supposed to be able to defeat Duke. North Carolina is supposed to be the exception, because they’re supposed to think that they’re better than Duke.
Even NC State, the red-jerseyed step-school up I-40 that often thinks they’re almost on the same level as their fellow North Carolina basketball programs still is compelled to storm the court upon defeating Duke:
Florida State, at least in recent history has always been a thorn in the side of Duke, and defeated them probably more than anyone else in the ACC over the last few years. In spite of that, it doesn’t change the fact that taking them down still warrants a court storming.
And let us not forget about the Much Maligned Maryland, whom for the last two decades claimed and tried so hard to be the oft-mentioned “third team of the ACC” who has apparently become so exasperated with the competition of the conference that they have taken their talents to the Big Ten conference. For years, they’ve tried to sell themselves as equally good and competitive as Duke, but even when they’ve been capable of scrapping together the rare win against Coach K, the inevitable still happens.
The bottom line is, storming the court is validating the importance of the opponents. By storming the court, all the people running onto the basketball court are saying that the opponents were really, really good, but we somehow miraculously scored more points than they did within a set amount of time.
Who cares if Duke was ranked 5th in the nation while Carolina wasn’t ranked at all? Act like you’ve been there before. Ignore the rankings. Beat Duke, and keep your asses plastered to the seats and stifle a yawn as if beating Duke was the expected outcome, and that there was absolutely no surprise in doing it – again.
North Carolina may have beaten Duke in the basketball game, but they basically handed over all the power in the rivalry; if it can really be called that anymore at this point; by storming the court.
Bad form, Carolina. Act like you’ve been there before.