USA TODAY Sports
NC State fans rushed the court following the Pack's win over Duke on Saturday, and there were a number of factors at play in that. Most obviously, State had just beaten the team ranked No. 1 in the nation. That's generally cause for some excessive partying, whatever the name of the jersey might be.
Saturday was a celebration of validation as much as anything else--NC State finally is good enough to go head-to-head with the ACC's best and win the league, and the Pack proved it with their performance against the Blue Devils. We are playing--and winning--big games again, and that is enough cause for celebration. The name on the jersey didn't necessarily matter, though certainly beating Duke in this fashion was icing on the cake.
It's nice to be able to win a game like that against an in-state rival. But let's not go crazy -- it's not always about you, Duke.
The Wolfpack faithful seemed to be selling themselves short. Typically rushing the court is reserved for the once-in-a-lifetime sort of victories. Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski insists that the court is only to be rushed when Duke wins a championship, whether conference or national. Exceptions can be justified for truly astounding upsets. But this was a game that N.C. State could have fully been expected to win.
NC State indeed could have been expected to win a game against one of the ACC's best. This, again, is the point. How common has that been for us? It's coincidental that the victim was Duke. I'm glad it was Duke. But let's not confuse the rivalry factor with the plainly obvious external factors that had nothing to do with Duke. This was a celebration of a program returning to relevancy as much as it was anything else.
I began to gather that the point was simply that they had beaten Duke. As Blue Devil fans, especially during the pressure of a season, I think it's sometimes difficult to perceive the true magnitude of Duke's impact in the college basketball world.
That's cute. In my day, we didn't rush the floor after beating North Carolina, and you know why? Those teams were terrible. Trust me, were Duke as irrelevant nationally as Doherty's Tar Heels, the reaction would have been similar. We'd be pleased, but we'd all calmly file out of the arena. You are only as important as that ranking next to your name. The magnitude of a program's supposed "impact in the college basketball world" is tied only to its quality, not its name.
No one gives a fuck when you're 8-20, man.