This season in college hoops has been a mirage of upset alerts that have all virtually come true. While Indiana has become the fifth team in five weeks to become the new number one and the rest of the top 25 turns itself inside out every week, no single program has proven to be more dominant than the rest. At this point, if you are in the top 25, it would almost be just as likely for you to lose as it would be to win. Then enters the storm court chasers.
I refer to any student section in college basketball representing a school outside the top 25 as storm court chasers. Unless you are in the SEC where a program can be fined if their fans storm the court, an upset alert will always present this possibility. There are few more exhilarating moments in sports than the ones leading up to the final seconds in a game that features an underdog at home going head-to-head with a Duke or a Kentucky. If an outcome is decided before the last buzzer sounds you will most surely see the storm court chasers line up right behind the first row or stalled at the presence of the court’s security guard.
We have witnessed it as many times as ever in this season’s rendition of “take down the king of the hill.” The top ten of the polls has been mixed and jumbled so many times each week that it’s beginning to look like survivor. As I have explained before on this venue, if the polls are good for one thing, it is consistency. In this season’s case, it has shown the lack thereof and the chasers are quite aware of that. Home court advantage has never been more prevalent in college basketball. On top of the week-to-week strategy by teams to exploit the weaknesses of the newly marked number one, the intimidation factor of getting dethroned is very much present.
As student sections across the country continue to make the home court of their underdog a danger to any opponent that dares to enter, we will continue to wait for the elite teams to stand up and put an end to the fire. Until then, we will continue the storm court watch.
Next up tonight: #1Indiana at Illinois