On Banning Court Rushings and the Silliness Of It All…

Posted by Kenny Ocker (@KennyOcker) on December 11th, 2015

Kenny Ocker (@kennyocker) is a national columnist.

I was a participant in one of the most dubious court-rushings of all time. Nothing says “We’re on top of the college basketball world!” quite like taking to the floor in celebration of not going winless in the conference season. In my defense, I was a freshman at the time. Two years – and seemingly a world – removed from an Elite Eight berth, Oregon had only bit players and overhyped freshmen on hand in 2008-09, and that motley crew led the Webfoots to a cool 14-game losing streak to start the Pac-10 season. All was not well in Eugene. On top of the terrible season, rumor had it that venerable McArthur Court was in its final year. (A series of missed timetables kept society from the Rorschach-blotted court of Matthew Knight Arena for another season and a half, however). But when Stanford rolled into town on February 21, Oregon’s defense showed up for the only time that season. Thirty-nine minutes and change later, a whiteboard was held up in the student section that read “We’re storming the court.” And that’s what we did.

After the 68-60 Ducks win, the Pit Crew leaped over the row of courtside chairs and headed to center court, pregame-giveaway Ping-Pong balls in tow, and mobbed the Fox Sports Net cameras. Nearly six years later, this remains one of my paramount memories of college basketball – the other involves some heckling of former Washington State forward Deangelo Casto, but you had to be there – and of college. I can recount my experience from that game better than I can recount pretty much anything I learned in a freshman year class – the only thing I had to look up was the date. Consequential game or not, this is the experience students have when they rush the court after a team’s big win (as they define it at the time). To curtail it would leave these exuberant celebrations, these spontaneous releases of positive energy, on the sidelines, with students feeling less like a part of the college basketball experience, to which they are vital. (Disagree? Look at how many times rushed courts end up on highlight reels; how many frames of crying students show up during the NCAA Tournament; how much value there is to playing at home.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Where 2014-15 Happens: Reason #20 We Love College Basketball

Posted by rtmsf on October 26th, 2014

Here we go… headfirst into another season heralded by our 2014-15 edition of Thirty Reasons We Love College Basketball, our annual compendium of YouTube clips from the previous season completely guaranteed to make you wish games were starting tonight rather than 30 days from now. Over the next month you’ll get one reason per day until we reach the new season on November 14. We’ve captured what we believe were the 30 most compelling moments from last season, some of which will bring back goosebumps and others of which will leave you shaking your head in astonishment. For all of this year’s released posts, click here

#20 – Where Rush. That. Court. Happens.

Get out there!!!!!

A video posted by RTC (@rushthecourt) on

We also encourage you to re-visit the entire archive of this feature from the 2008-092009-10, 2010-112011-122012-13 and 2013-14 preseasons.

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The RTC Podblast: Wacky Week Edition

Posted by rtmsf on February 21st, 2014

Start your weekend off right, with the RTC Podblast, a quick review of the week that was and a look ahead to the weekend that comes. It was a wacky week of college basketball, with some really odd results, but as we approach the two-week mark until the end of the regular season, it’s likely to only get nuttier as desperation sets in for many teams. Join us as we do our best to work through some takeaways from all of the action.

Make sure to subscribe to the podcast/podblast on iTunes so that you’ll get all of the episodes immediately downloaded to your listening device.

  • 0:00-4:18 – BC Stuns Syracuse!
  • 4:18-10:41 – UNC Rushes the Court Against Duke (oh yeah, they won the game too)
  • 10:41-18:10 – Weekend Preview
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Where’s the Next RTC in the Pac-12?

Posted by Andrew Murawa (@AMurawa) on January 21st, 2014

Rushing the court: a rite of passage for college basketball fans; an endearing hallmark of the sport; the name of a pretty darn good college basketball blog. Last week’s “controversial” rushing of the court by Indiana fans after their win over Wisconsin got me thinking: What would it take for each of the schools in the Pac-12 to break out a good old-fashioned RTC this season? Now, there are some people who have come up with all the rules for when RTCing is allowable. We’ve even posted our own general guidelines around here in the past. But my own personal recommendation for court rushing (and a good, if dangerous, motto to live your life by): If it feels good, do it. So, if Washington State, say, wants to rush the court for a ho-hum mid-January win over Oregon State, for instance — hey, more power to ya. But RTCing anytime something marginally good happens ruins the specialness of it. So, what follows would be the most likely scenarios for possible court rushings in the Pac-12.

After Washington State Upset Gonzaga in 2006, Cougar Fans Filled The Court (Kody Whiteaker, AP Photo)

After Washington State Upset Gonzaga in 2006, Cougar Fans Filled The Court (Kody Whiteaker, AP Photo)

First, we’re going to group a bunch of schools together. What do Stanford, California, Arizona State, Utah, Colorado, Oregon State and Oregon have in common? Those are the seven remaining road games on Arizona’s schedule. These guys are all easy. If they beat #1 Arizona (even if the ranking changes) at home this year in just about any way – blowout, last-second buzzer-beater, or game getting called after the first possession with the home team up a hoop – you can expect to see an exodus of students from the stands out onto the court. And it will be good. And really, each of those schools has a fighting chance against the Wildcats and you have to figure at some point the ‘Cats will get caught. Maybe even twice. So, the expectation is that there is at least one RTC in the Pac in our near-future.

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Mitch McGary Should Return One More Season to Reach the High Lottery

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on April 11th, 2013

Deepak is a writer for the Big Ten microsite of RTC. Follow him on Twitter for more about B1G hoops at @dee_b1g.

Before the confetti was even cleaned up in the Georgia Dome on Monday night, speculation had begun about the future of several Michigan players headed to the NBA Draft. At this juncture of his career, Trey Burke will likely enter the NBA Draft. His counterpart, Tim Hardaway Jr., may not be a lottery pick but his stock isn’t likely to go much higher. Under the assumption that both guards will not be back in Ann Arbor next season, the question regarding Mitch McGary’s future will be a hot topic over the next few days. McGary’s sizzling performance during the past three weeks has him climbing up the charts on most of the draft boards but he could benefit from another season under his belt in the Big Ten. The following are three reasons why he needs to come back to Ann Arbor for one more season.

Mitch McGary could be a star in the Big Ten next season.

Mitch McGary could be a star in the Big Ten next season.

  1. Look no further than the National Title game to understand where McGary needs improvement. The Louisville front court – Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanan – muscled their way in the paint against McGary which shows that there are a couple of areas of his game that can be improved. Dieng made numerous excellent passes (six assists) in the half-court and showed an effective jumper from 17-feet in the high post. McGary has shown glimpses of a decent looking jumper himself, which can only get better with a full offseason of shooting and additional training. He is quicker than Dieng off the bounce and by adding a better jumper to his arsenal, he could dominate a game in even more ways. Behanan was just tougher that McGary in the paint and destroyed him on the glass in the second half by grabbing a total of 12 rebounds. Once again, McGary is just as strong as Behanan but he could use another season to learn spacing on the floor which will help him average double-figure rebounds per game next season. If he comes back for another season, he could be the best big man on the court during almost every game which will separate him from the rest of the crop for the 2014 NBA Draft. Read the rest of this entry »
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Big Ten M5: 02.05.13 Edition

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on February 5th, 2013


  1. The Michigan – Ohio State rivalry is arguably the best in college football but a new generation of basketball players has taken the rivalry to the hardwood as well. Trey Burke and Aaron Craft take the game personally as tonight’s matchup will be the first between the two programs with both teams ranked in the top 10. Burke said, “I love playing against him. He makes me work, and he makes me better,” when asked about his counterpart. The Buckeyes have beaten the Wolverines in three of their last four games so Burke will be looking to avoid a losing skid to keep his team ranked in the top five in the polls.
  2. With a healthy Jordan Morgan in the lineup, the Wolverines would feel much more comfortable heading into tonight’s game against Ohio State. But with their center still recovering from a sprained ankle, forwards Mitch McGary and Jon Horford have done a great job filling in for him during the last three games. McGary scored 10 points against the Hoosiers and did an excellent job off the pick-and-roll while trying his best to defend Cody Zeller on the other end. Morgan practiced only a “little bit” and his status is in “doubt” for this evening’s match-up. The Buckeyes’ post pair of Amir Williams and Evan Ravenel don’t look for their shots in the paint very often, so McGary and Horford may manage to stay out of foul trouble, which was not the case against Indiana.
  3. Speaking of Indiana, Hoosiers’ head coach Tom Crean is back in Bloomington after a “short night” in New Orleans to support his brothers-in-law – Jim and John Harbaugh – at the Super Bowl on Sunday. Crean was with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell when the power went out in the Superdome. When asked about his experience with the commish, Crean replied, “To watch the commissioner of the NFL deal with that with such grace and calmness under pressure was amazing.” The Hoosiers have regained the #1 ranking in America and will visit Champaign to play an Illinois team that badly needs a win to stay in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament bid.
  4. While the Hoosiers had a great weekend on the hardwood, the Illini are hanging by the thinnest of strings after losing to Wisconsin at home on Sunday afternoon. Illinois head coach John Groce believes that most of his team’s issues stem from their defense. The Badgers shot 55.6% in the second half, leading Groce to say, “Right now, our defense has too many holes in it.” Brandon Paul and D.J.Richardson need to do a better job of moving the ball around in the half-court because only 37% of the Illini’s field goals have been a result of an assist in Big Ten play.
  5. The Big Ten season tipped off with a Minnesota win over Michigan State on New Year’s Eve, but Spartans head coach Tom Izzo is preparing for the rematch without the availability of guards Travis Trice and Gary Harris. Both players had the weekend off and Trice will be evaluated on Tuesday regarding his status for the game. Harris (41% 3FG) and Trice (40% 3FG) are Izzo’s best shooters this season and both will need to stay healthy if the Spartans plan to make a serious run at the Big Ten title and beyond. Each has missed a couple of games during the non-conference season but have been a key part of Michigan State’s success in league play.
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Welcome Back to the Big Ten Microsite!

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on October 8th, 2012

And we are back! Welcome to the second year of the Big Ten Microsite at RTC. Over the next six months, we will provide you a steady of stream of news and analysis about one of the best basketball conferences in college hoops.

Our team of four writers – Wesley Barger, Deepak Jayanti, Joey Nowak and Kevin Trahan will keep you posted about the various storylines that come up during the season. We will focus on the preseason over the next few weeks, transition into the key non-conference games, then go through the rugged conference season and follow the Big Ten’s quest for its first National Championship in over 12 seasons.

The stage is set for the conference to showcase its talent this season as four Big Ten teams – Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State – have the talent the go deep into the postseason and will be in the spotlight all year long. Stick with us through what could be one of the best seasons ever for the Big Ten!

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Big Ten Summer Check In Summary

Posted by Deepak Jayanti on August 7th, 2012

Twelve up and 12 down. With the final check in post that we published about Purdue yesterday, we have concluded our series catching up with every one of the B1G teams this summer. In case you’ve missed any of them, here are the links for all of the posts from the past few weeks. The Big Ten microsite will continue along with Weekly Fives for the next six weeks or so before jumping into preseason materials at the start of October. Remember, we only have about two months left until Midnight Madness!

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Be My Valentine – 14 Iconic Moments We’ve Loved This Season

Posted by EJacoby on February 14th, 2012

Evan Jacoby is a regular contributor for RTC. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter.

Are you riding solo this Valentine’s Day? If you can’t have a significant other, you can always love sports. What is more beautiful to watch than a buzzer-beating shot, an unlikely upset win, or a swarm of students rushing the court? Here to cheer you up, we present a reminder of 14 lovely moments in college basketball this season, in honor of the 14th:

Be Our Hoops Valentine...

1. Racers’ Pursuit of Perfection (December 11) – Murray State beat then-ranked Memphis on the road to improve their record to 10-0, and fans and analysts immediately began to take notice of this OVC school. This win set off the idea that the Racers could perhaps run the table this season, and while it did not happen, it would be two full months before they lost a game.

2. Teach Us How to Dougie (January 7) – Creighton has now lost three straight games to drop out of the Top 25 rankings for the first time in weeks, but they’d been providing a great story all season in the form of Doug McDermott. The sophomore forward, son of Creighton head coach Greg McDermott, and former teammate of Harrison Barnes in high school, went for 44 points and eight rebounds in a road win over Bradley that kickstarted his campaign for National Player of the Year. His candidacy for the award has since died down, but he’s still third in the nation in points per game (22.9).

3. Watford’s Buzzer-Beater (December 10) – Indiana got off to a fast start this season, but the Hoosiers took it to another level when they knocked off #1 Kentucky at home to improve to 9-0 back in December. Down by two, it took this shot by Christian Watford to beat the buzzer and provide us with one of the most memorable highlights of the year. The shot signified that IU basketball is officially back. See it below.

4. Rivers’ Buzzer-Beater (February 8) – Perhaps the only more recognizable moment of this season than Watford’s shot was a similar one from Duke’s Austin Rivers. Down by two at Chapel Hill on the final possession, the freshman provided this season’s iconic moment thus far by nailing a game-winner at the buzzer to beat North Carolina. The main difference between the two shots? Rivers’ came on the road, silencing the UNC crowd and sending them into shock.

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Night Line: Duke Looks Vulnerable Heading Into ACC Play

Posted by EJacoby on January 5th, 2012

Evan Jacoby is an RTC columnist and contributor. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter. Night Line will run on weeknights during the season, highlighting a major storyline development from that day’s slate of games.

Over the past month, Duke had won five straight games and quietly risen to #3 in the AP Poll and #2 in the RPI without skipping a beat. But home victories over the likes of Western Michigan and UNC Greensboro won’t make fans forget about the Devils’ embarrassing 22-point loss at Ohio State earlier in the year, and it would take a strong road performance to erase those memories. Wednesday night showed the Blue Devils get thoroughly outplayed by unranked Temple in downtown Philadelphia, confirming the suspicion that Mike Krzyzewski’s team could be vulnerable both defensively and on the road heading into conference play. Coach K will need to refine his rotation and strengthen his team’s defensive intensity if they want to realistically compete with North Carolina for another ACC title.

Duke Had Major Trouble Defending Temple on Wednesday Night (AP/T. Mihalek)

Perhaps no team played as difficult a non-conference schedule as Duke, which would suggest that they are well prepared for their old familiar foes when conference play begins this weekend. The Blue Devils played Michigan State, Ohio State, Belmont, Michigan, Kansas, Davidson, Tennessee, and Washington as part of one of the most challenging schedules in the country. But Wednesday’s game against Temple was just their second road game (although it was played on one of Villanova’s two home courts, not Temple’s), and they were dominated in both. At Ohio State on November 29, Duke allowed the Buckeyes to shoot 60% on two-pointers and 57% on threes, amounting to a horrendous 130.8 efficiency rating for the Buckeyes. On Wednesday night, Temple shot 58% on twos and 50% on threes for a 114.7 efficiency. Considering that Missouri’s 126.5 offensive efficiency is the best in the country, it goes without saying that Duke is allowing its opponents to score way too easily in hostile environments.

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