Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tuesday Update: Storming the Court,
Final Four Legitimacy and "NBATube"

With a morning flight to take, I was up at 4 this morning to poke around the Web and creat this morning's post. After having some time on the flight to think on today's hot topics a little more (thanks, JetBlue DirecTV), there are a few additional things on the table:

(1) The "Storm the Court" Debate: This really stemmed from Syracuse fans storming the court last night after beating Georgetown.

While I agree that there's a certain amount of self-respect involved in deciding whether to storm the court -- I mean, shouldn't Syracuse fans EXPECT to win at home, even over a hot team like Georgetown? -- I simply can't begrudge the enthusiasm of students to celebrate that way.

Maybe it's coming from Northwestern – where any big win (or any win) would have been cause for court-rushing – but as long as the students don't taunt or otherwise engage the opposing players, I think the ones who should cease and desist are the prudes, cranks and gripers.

(2) Kansas: Final Four legit or not? I've heard "This Year's Florida," and it's not a bad comparison: Young, big, well-rounded, hungry.

I get caught up by Bill Self's woeful Tournament record at Kansas. You could argue that Florida had a similarly shitty Tournament record the few seasons before last year's run.

You could also argue that last year's humiliation is precisely the motivation to make this year's run, particularly knowing this might be the best/last chance they'll have (presuming Wright, Arthur and Rush jump to the NBA).

Here's the certainty: Kansas will be the toughest bracket pick fans will have to make this year. (The Top 5 Toughest Bracket Picks: (1) Kansas, (2) Washington State, (3) Butler, (4) Texas A&M, (5) Air Force.

(The common factor among 2-5, along with teams like Wisconsin and Georgetown: Hard-nosed teams that play great defense and controlled offense that limits possessions – for BOTH teams. It can keep them in games with superior teams, but also leave inferior teams within shouting distance of an upset win.)

(3) NBA/YouTube Partnership: I don't know whether that clip from the post below of Team USA's layup line was the instant fruits of this new partnership between the NBA and YouTube, but I'm going to say that it will be the most important strategic move the NBA has made since the Draft Lottery to connect with fans. (The key: Being able to embed NBA video clips or URLs wherever fans want to see them – sites, blogs, emails, etc. Reach fans where they want to be reached or perish.)

-- D.S.


The Legend of Vincent Tremblay said...

Do you think, as he signed the contract, David Stern had muttered, "Damn, I can't believe Gary Bettman beat me to this!"

Unknown said...

I love storming the court - but it's only appropriate when you've just won a huge game that nobody expected you to win, you win a championship or your team sucks and you pull off a huge upset.

Syracuse is the defending Big East Champion. So it's really just a statement about how lousy they are this year than anything else. A team like that should expect to win Big East games, it's what they do.

jhawkjjm said...

I remember a game against Texas a few years ago where Kansas ended up winning by a point with a late basket. A group of about 15-20 fans stormed the court. They were then booed by the other 14,300 people in the fieldhouse. Act like you've been there before. Syracuse is just a few years removed from a National Championship, a perennial tourney team. They should be embarrassed and I loved Cowherd ripping them this morning on the radio.

KU got what they needed last night. They needed a close game as their "wake up call". And unlike Florida or UNC, they did it and still won. But free throw shooting (again) could be their downfall.

CJ said...

You ignore so many factors about the Syracuse win.

1) Georgetown was a top-10 team and Syracuse was unranked... few people picked the Orange to win.

2) It was Senior Night (and the last home game).

3) Georgetown is Syracuse's most hated basketball rival. Always has been, always will be... even when UConn was good.

4) The win secured Syracuse a spot in the Big Dance.

Plenty of reason to storm the court... and I'd have been there with them.

The Big Picture said...

despite the close win last night, i'm still on board with Kansas. Sure, the track record isn't favorable, but the way the jayhawks are just blowing out teams -- unlike, say, Ohio State -- is speaking loudly right now.

mark said...

Storming the court should be rare. When everyone in the student section can agree that "this is the biggest victory we're ever going to see in our four-year career at this school" is the only time it's appropriate. Syracuse over Georgetown in a regular-season game--not that huge an upset, when you come down to it--simply doesn't qualify.

Luke Bell said...

Or, what about #1 Ohio State beating #2 Wisconsin AT HOME with the Badger's top rebounder/#3 scorer out most of the game? I don't care if it won the Big 10 title, storming the court at that point is garbage.

Anonymous said...

A lot of Syracuse fans don't think they should have stormed the court either. I think it became in vogue during Gerry McNamara and Carmelo Anthony's freshman year when they won the NC. They stormed the court several times that season so people may think it brings them luck. Who knows. Maybe they just do it because it is fun.