Tag Archives: Upsets

The Big East: Where Black is East and Up is White [Updated!]

It was an interesting weekend in the Big East, to say the least. Let’s recap it, shall we?

  • Jim Calhoun announced his return to the bench for UConn… which then promptly lost to Cincinnati, dropping them to 14-11 on the season.
  • USF has fallen back down to earth by dropping its second-consecutive game after knocking off two ranked teams in a row.
  • Pittsburgh and West Virginia gave us an exhilarating triple-overtime thriller Friday night, where Pitt toppled fifth-ranked West Virginia by three after Darryl Bryant took a jumper just inside the arc… down three.
  • Then today, Louisville put a halt to Syracuse’s 11-game win streak and Rutgers took down Georgetown behind 24 points from former-Florida Gator Jonathan Mitchell.

So what do we know about the Big East at this time?

Um.

Expect the unexpected? Yeah, that’s all I got for now.

It’s no doubt that Syracuse should still be considered one of the top teams in the nation this year — as should Villanova, who survived the weekend — and Georgetown is still a good team. Hell, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has six Big East teams making the tournament, with another five just missing the cut… of course, there are still a few weeks left in the season, so things can undoubtedly change. But one thing is for sure when it comes to Big East basketball this season, anything can happen.

Oh, and for the record, Rutgers fans restrained themselves from storming the court after upsetting No. 8 Georgetown, so big props to those fans.

UPDATE: And the Big East continues to confound us, as UConn, coming off of a bad loss to Cincy, drops the No. 3 team in the nation, Villanova. For those scoring at home, the four highest-ranked Big East teams (including three of the top five ranked teams in the nation) have all lost since Friday… and two of those were at home (Syracuse and Nova). Is the Big East really this deep, or is the madness just getting started a month early, this season?

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Storming The Court:When Is It Right?

When should it be ok to rush the court?

It’s an activity that many fans dream of, but only so many get a chance to partake in during their lifetimes. It’s storming the floor following a big win by your team, and it’s something that is unique to college athletics.

But it’s also something that we see too often, and in particular, something done under the wrong circumstances.

So far this season, there have been at least six situations (that I can think of) in which the fans of a team has rushed the court after a big win:

But how many of those instances have been warranted? I’d say one, maybe two of them. That one being South Carolina taking down Kentucky. What makes what the Gamecocks did right, you may ask? Well, when thinking about rushing the floor, fans should take a few things into consideration before acting on impulse.

For one, the upset should be over a highly-rankedĀ  — and of course, your team should be unranked — and over a team that is highly favored. Also, a fan should take into consideration how successful his or her team has been in recent memory.

That’s why South Carolina is a good example: they have never really been good. The school has only had eight NCAA tournament appearances (the last one being in 2004) and has only sniffed the second weekend of the tourney three times. Add in that Kentucky is a storied program, and was undefeated and ranked first in the nation at the time of the upset, and voila(!) you’ve got an ideal situation to storm the court.

The other instance that you could make an argument for? Providence upsetting UConn. Sure, UConn was only ranked 19th at the time, but let’s face it, Providence isn’t as prominent of a program (only five tournament appearances in the last 20 years) and UConn has itself been a great team in recent years. Plus, Providence shellacked them by 15+ points, so there is some gray area on that one.

Which brings me to UConn, who should be ashamed for rushing then floor when it topped Texas. Let’s ignore for a minute the fact that the Huskies have two titles in the last 11 years, and have made the big dance eight of the last 10 seasons. UConn has been ranked most of the season, so there should be no excuse for such a reaction after defeating ANOTHER ranked team.

The same could be said for the Illini, as much as SouvenirCity will argue otherwise, their fans had no business taking the floor. As I pointed out on Twitter when the upset happened, Illinois is five years removed from an appearance in the NCAA final and has made the tournament nine of the last 10 seasons. Not to mention that Sparty was playing WITHOUT its best player, Kalin Lucas.

It was really a shameful display by UConn’s and Illinois’ fans.

What about Indiana and Penn, you may ask? Well, Indiana has been down lately, but they are still a storied program that is also not far removed from success. And Penn? Well, it has won the Ivy League regular season title six of the last 10 seasons. Oh, and not to mention Penn is the 34th most prestigious division 1 men’s basketball program in the nation, according to some weird ESPN Prestige Rankings that I know nothing about.

I think I’ve ranted on long enough about fans storming the floor. Yeah, it’s a cool thing that a lot of us wish we could do one day, but it’s become an epidemic in the college basketball world… and it loses its uniqueness and appeal when it’s done so routinely in unwarranted scenarios.

So let’s close this out with one last rundown of what criteria should be met before an arena rushes the court:

  1. Opponent must be highly ranked.
  2. Your team should be unranked (for most of the season prior to the upset).
  3. Your team cannot have a recent history of success — for this argument, let’s say the last 10-15 years.
  4. YOUR TEAM CANOT HAVE A RECENT HISTORY OF SUCCESS. Repetition drives points home.

(H/T to @TallGuyDuke)

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Dominique Jones > [Insert Your Favorite Player Here]

"Y'all come watch Dominique Jones play."

I know, I know: three Dominique Jones posts in less than two weeks. What gives?

Well, I figured if Fetch is allowed to have a man-crush on the whole Kansas team, and Cole Aldrich, complete with a (discontinued) Aldrich double-double tracker, then I should at least be able to write about my favorite player in college basketball this year, DoJo.

In case you missed it last night, DoJo led the Bulls with 29 points — 22 in the second half– 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals en route to an upset over No. 7 Georgetown in D.C.

The win gave USF its fourth-straight Big East win, and second consecutive win over a ranked team. It also gave DoJo 140 points during the Bulls’ run.

DoJo is putting this team on his back and making them respectable in one of the better conferences in

the nation. He has led them to two signature wins in a row, and if they keep it up, maybe even the possibility of an NCAA tournament berth — which would be USF’s third in school history.

And while the stats are eye-popping, and his game is incredibly entertaining to watch, the thing that makes DoJo especially awesome is this:

With a minute to play in perhaps the biggest win in South Florida history, the star player bellowed to the Georgetown crowd: ”Y’all come watch Dominique Jones play!”

You have to appreciate an incredible young talent with that kind of gall, going unranked into the house of the No. 7 team in the nation and telling that hostile crowd that this is his show.

And that’s just what the second half was: The DoJo Show [I’m totally trademarking that, by the way]. His 22-point second half effort rallied his team from a 9 point halftime deficit, and gave USF the biggest basketball win in school history.

And that, my friends, is why Dominique Jones > Your favorite player.

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Down Goes Mississippi State

Well, that was quick. The reigning SEC champions — and many people’s sexy pick to win the conference again this season — started this season on the wrong foot. Friday night the Bulldogs lost to Rider. Yes, Rider. Your eyes do not deceive you.

The Bulldogs, who returned all five starters from last year’s team, came into the season ranked 18th in the AP poll and 19th in the Coaches poll. But that didn’t phase the Broncs, as they knocked off Miss. St 88-74 behind 21 points each from Mike Ringgold and Novar Gadson (who might just earn a spot on the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Name Team).

The game marked the first major upset of the (very) young season, and can best be summed up by this quote from Miss. St’s Kodi Augustus:

This is Rider. [We’re] preseason ranked No. 18 in the country. We’re not supposed to lose our first game, home opener. Wow. It’s crazy.

Yup. Crazy seems like the right word for it.

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