N.C. State Fans Still Act Like Underdogs, Violate Court Storming Etiquette

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North Carolina State fans want you to know they take their third wheel status on Tobacco Road personally, though they’re not concerned with refuting the reputation.

After State’s 84-76 “upset” win over top-ranked Duke on Saturday, Wolfpack fans showed their true colors, rushing the floor and incidentally bowling over a person in a wheelchair at the center of the scrum. The demonstration confirmed what those familiar with the Triangle basketball scene long suspected: N.C. State still takes comfort in the role of endearing underdog, even in a season when the program is supposed to be the ACC’s top dog.

Jan 12, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack fans storm the court after an upset of the Duke Blue Devils at PNC Arena. North Carolina State won 84-76. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolfpack, not Blue Devils, if you’ll recall, were the preseason ACC favorites; both the coaches and media had Duke slotted second. That reality didn’t penetrate the PNC Arena Saturday afternoon. Despite an offseason spent building up State’s return to prominence almost thirty years in the making, fans gushed onto the court like nothing had changed, patronizing their basketball team as if beating Duke was some sort of unlikely coup. Newsflash: it wasn’t.

North Carolina State players expected to beat Duke, or at least they should have. With a hobbled Seth Curry exiting the game late and Ryan Kelly out with an undisclosed foot injury, the Pack had the best team in the building Saturday, irrespective of what the rankings say. This wasn’t a luxury, season-satisfying win for Mark Gottfried’s team, as the court storming would suggest. The Pack needed to prove they belonged, to justify the lofty preseason hype.

Storming the court is part of the pageantry that makes college hoops so unique, so genuine and spontaneous. But like all things in life subject to overuse, this popular college basketball pastime has a time and place; otherwise, it becomes jaded. State fans overstepped that line.

More than celebrating a big time win, the scene in Raleigh on Saturday perpetuated a long-standing inferiority complex. Think the Cameron Crazies swarm Coach K Court if the roles were reversed? Of course not. Big wins at Rupp, Cameron, Phog and the Dean Dome end the same way, with fans streaming to the exits, not center court.

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Tags: Basketball North Carolina State

  • wolf1

    congrats Evan, you went for the role of pompous ass in this article and succeeded

    • http://www.facebook.com/greg.gaertner.9 Greg Gaertner

      wow….a sports talking head wannabee trashes a program that has shown more enthusiasm than most others and is criticized by said wannabee. What a shock. Being a douche is not a skill-set. You are simply posing as a mix of water and vinegar (something without defining characteristics mixed with another that is bitter and sterile)….congratulations!

  • matt

    dude, we just beat the number 1 team in the country… We’re supposed to not storm the court? :P

    Also, the guy in the wheelchair was, in his own words, saved by CJ leslie-

    ” C.J. Leslie was in the middle (of the crowd) and he saw me. I knew him from being around campus. He pushed everyone back and told everyone, “Get back, get back.” Once everyone moved and realized what was going on, he picked me up and I’ve described it as like how you’d hold a baby.”


    • Evan, Busting Brackets

      Saw that story, Matt. CJ is a great guy. Already knew that when I covered him as a high school recruit.

  • docmark

    This is what you said about NC State on Jan. 1: ” While they won’t be gunning down the Devils for league supremacy”. Either admit that you were wrong in choosing Duke 1st, or admit that NC State upset Duke. But don’t be a jerk and criticize NC State fans for being excited that our team won a great game today.

    • Evan, Busting Brackets

      Did the regular season end yesterday, Mark? News to me.

      For the record, I had the Wolfpack pegged as the ACC’s best in the preseason until I had the benefit of watching them play in the non-conference, hence the switch. Still stand by the pick, assuming Ryan Kelly returns (can’t predict injuries).

      If not, the Wolfpack have a legitimate shot to win the league, as they were supposed to do in the first place.

      • http://www.facebook.com/greg.gaertner.9 Greg Gaertner

        ahhh! the gears are grinding as Evan Almighty backpedals! You made a fool of yourself. Retract your column or take your lumps. You missed a big story by a country mile and your boss would be wise to can your incompetent arse.

        I would only recommend that you get rear view mirrors for your bike, Evan. You obviously need to do a lot of peddling in reverse. Or you could choose to think before you write.

        NAHHHHH! LOL!

        • Evan, Busting Brackets

          No backpeddling here. Duke at full strength remains the best team in the ACC. That’s the pick I’m standing by (not my preseason pick of NC State that was made prior to seeing anyone play). Injuries to Kelly and Curry could shift the scales, of course.

          You’ve wasted quite a number of words to say absolutely nothing of substance.

  • [email protected]

    Nice point of view from a “Dukie”, Get real man. That was an inspiring win.

  • Evan, Busting Brackets

    Take note from Ohio State, Pack fans. The Buckeyes just dealt their arch rival — the team that was set to become the new #1 — their first loss. NO court storming. The kicker: Michigan was picked to finish ahead of Ohio State in the Big 10 this year. Buckeyes were legitimate underdogs, Wolfpack not so much.

    Act like you’ve been there before.

    • http://www.facebook.com/greg.gaertner.9 Greg Gaertner

      and ohio state has been highly ranked for many years now. Of course they are expecting to win, you moron! Could you be more incompetent?! And let’s not overlook the obvious: the greatest value that college sports brings to the table is its fans. Of course you are unable to comprehend the obvious since you trash the NCSU fans for showing….ENTHUSIASM! It is this spontaneous burst of exuberance that endears observers to the fans/students at the game. Have you ever wondered why the television producers pan the audience to show the crowd in college games? Of course you don’t!

      I realize that you have your favorite teams. You are probably a big Walmart shopper who invests in sports merchandise from the biggest and most popular college programs. You are apparantly only able to see the dollar value of the most popular programs like Duke, Ohio State, Michigan and a few select others.

      HOW DARE ANOTHER TEAM SHOW THEIR JOY AT ACHIEVING A REAL GOAL! Evan disapproves! Evan will dictate how the fans of every program are expected to conduct themselves! Evan Almighty!

    • Mark Phelps

      Just to prepare you– we expect to rush the floor several MORE times this year! As a Wolfpack graduate from the Valvano era (who has been on the floor of Reynolds many times), I’m looking forward to it.

  • Tate Rice

    Wow. Sounds like sour grapes. You are right though. It was such a horrible thing for students to celebrate a huge win. You wonder why NCSU has an inferiority complex at times. It is because of articles like this. Why couldn’t you just write an article about great win for the Pack. A little bias if you ask me. You must be a Duke or Unc grad?

  • Packer

    There’s a line from the movie Office Space, something about Michael Bolton not having so much talent, same moniker applies to this author. Refusing to read the garbage article but got the gist…shouldn’t have even clicked the link. Hey dummy, a team that’s been down for 20 years is going to be stoked about beating #1 and they should be. It’s also telling that you stick in the petty little jab about the handicapped fan but leave out the good part. Oh well, best of luck with your career if this is what you have to offer. I guess you get the value of a little site traffic, but it comes at the expense of your rep.

  • CommonSense

    I’ve never seen this site. But, it only took this one article to reinforce the truism that anyone can post something on the internet. What rational thinking person REALLY needs to be explained the difference between Ohio State’s last 20 years and NC State’s last 20 years and its impact on beating one of your biggest rivals who happened to be ranked #1 in the country?

  • Seriously?

    Court storming had to do with more than that one game. It was an emotional outburst from a fan base that has seen it’s football and basketball teams consistently crap the bed in these kinds of games for over 2 decades. Oh, and they beat their #2 rival, undefeated and ranked #1, whom they’ve beaten all of about 7 times in the past 20+ years. It was a celebration. Deal with it. By the way, UNC rushed the court against Duke a few years ago when UNC was ranked in the top 5, and UNC happens to actually beat Duke more than twice a decade.

  • Kevin Tipps

    Next time Duke beats UNC and burns benches or UNC beats Duke and storms Franklin I expect to see a similar article from you. Hypocrite you are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/weston.g.suggs Weston Gregory Suggs

    GO PACK! Evan Williams is clearly a douche and clearly had nothing to write about so he came up with this pile of shit.

  • Gray

    Carolina rushed the floor in 2005 (safe to say they were one of the favorites for the NATIONAL championship that year) and 2011 when they beat Duke so no, those wins in the Dean Dome didn’t end with the fans “streaming to the exits,” but nice try. They were big emotional wins for their fan base/students over a rival and their students wanted to celebrate, I guess that’s against your so called “etiquette” for rushing the floor also.

    The idea that State students were “desperate for attention,” is absolutely ludicrous. The stood in line all through the night and morning, and it was validated, they celebrated. I can see a couple hundred students now, saying hey, this win is great, but think of the attention WE would all get by rushing the floor! .. right.

  • http://twitter.com/wmdeitrick William Deitrick

    I’m really looking forward to reading your article about how Maryland fans violated storming the court etiquette after beating the #14 team even though they were favored by some outlets. I’m sure it will be very well written and unbiased (heavy sarcasm, I just wanted to make sure you knew that because i doubt you would pick up on that on your own).