The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

February 22, 2014

Let the kids storm

(Continued)

In the final minutes of UNC's win Thursday night, I read tweets that the student crowd at the Dean Dome was going to rush the court after the Tar Heels took down Duke and I immediately had mixed emotions. Sitting on my couch at my house, I was pumped that the Tar Heels had beaten Duke, but my long held belief was that a program like North Carolina shouldn't rush the court. After some thinking, I have come to change my view on this debate. College athletics are supposed to be full of excitement and joy, but we are going to chastise the students for wanting to run on the court and celebrate a huge win over its bitter rival?

These students likely weren't in Chapel Hill the last time the Tar Heels won a national title (2009) and what they have experienced this year has been a roller coaster ride of emotion. Thursday night's win gave North Carolina its third win over a top 5 team this season and it became the first team to ever beat the top four teams from that season's AP poll. Those are all things North Carolina is expected to do — beat the best of the best. This North Carolina team has also lost to Belmont, Alabama-Birmingham, Wake Forest and Miami on its way to a 19-7, 9-4 ACC mark. North Carolina has won eight games in a row and is as hot as any team in the country at a time when every team is trying to be at their best.

Thursday's win was an example where a fan base was very excited about a huge win and reacted in a way that shouldn't be criticized. I will admit that the opinion I had regarding storming the court has changed, but the reasons most dislike is silly. Just because a program is historic with a long history of excellence doesn't mean it's young fans shouldn't be exempt from celebrating — after all — college basketball is supposed to be fun.

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