The Iowa State basketball team enjoyed another unbelievable comeback on Thursday night. This time, Hilton Magic fostered a second consecutive comeback against their rival, Iowa, at home. Unlike the previous win in 2013, this one was met with a lot of adverse media attention on court storming and the hilarious meltdown of our rival’s fanbase on social media.
Hilton Coliseum is easily one of the top 10 toughest places to play in the country. One of those reasons is that regardless of any opponent’s lead, the Cyclones somehow always have a shot. It happened again in the unlikeliest scenario in their 83-82 victory over the Hawkeyes.
Jared Uthoff made everything in the first half. He accepted the role as “team obliterator” and knocked down 30 points in one half of basketball. 30 POINTS ON THE ROAD. Iowa State had 35 total team points at halftime.
Dec 10, 2015; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Monte Morris (11) throws down a dunk in the second half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at James H. Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones beat the Hawkeyes 83-82. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
The key to Iowa’s success was overcoming early turnovers, passing it to the open guy, and getting lucky with Iowa State constantly missing layups. However, that luck ran out when the Hawkeyes couldn’t whether a storm from the Cyclones that us fans have seen quite a bit. Lots of crushing turnovers, and Iowa State making unbelievable shots that weren’t going in before.
It really is amazing how different Iowa State’s luck is with men’s basketball compared to the football team and whatever haunted burial ground Jack Trice Stadium is slapped on top of.
Still, this win wasn’t met with high praise — there’s been national attention given to the court storming that happened afterwards. I’ll break this down into two sections — one over the apparent hierarchy that everybody likes to set when it comes to court storming, and an Iowa State beat writer getting injured when it happened.
Stop the court storming hierarchy
I’ve written a post about this in the past, and my thoughts from back then still haven’t changed. Anybody that wants to thump their fabricated rule sheet on when a team should storm the court is an idiot. It doesn’t matter. In fact, my opinion is on the extreme opposite. If Iowa State fans want to storm the court after defeating whatever three-name school they play on Sunday by 30, do it. I don’t care.
Want to stop them storming the court? Beat them.
But I understand a lot of people would think that’s a little much, and that’s fine. What court storming should be about is channeled emotion. Iowa State overcame a huge deficit at home in the second half to their hated rival. You do realize that pumped up everybody in the stadium and watching the game at home with emotion?
What did you do at home? Scream? Yell? Pump up your fists? Were you really freaking excited about it?
OK, so what are people in the student section wanting to do? The players are right there in front of them celebrating. OF COURSE they’re going to come out in droves to jump up and down and do exactly what you were doing at home.
There’s certainly a good argument of having more security. Looking at the replay of the victory, there wasn’t any security blocking students from piling into the west end of the court where the game ended. Iowa State will likely get a fine from Big 12 honcho Bob Bowlsby. Whatever.
While security can be beefed up, students need to be smarter about their surroundings. Go ahead and run to your team, but don’t hurt anybody in the process. That’s where we enter into our next topic, and unfortunately a lot of uninformed national columnists are banging their drum on eliminating court storming with this.
The misconception of Randy Pete’s injury
Dec 10, 2015; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Monte Morris (11) celebrates with a fan after hitting the game winning shot against the Iowa Hawkeyes at James H. Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones beat the Hawkeyes 83-82. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
The Des Moines Register’s Cyclones beat writer, Randy Peterson, has worked at the paper for around 50 years. He’s one of my favorite writers because he’s always been unafraid to tell it like he sees it. I don’t agree with everything he’s penned, but he’s a damn good journalist.
The narrative from last night was that Peterson was “trampled” on during the court storming and suffered a compound fracture. This gave incentive for Iowa fans and national media pundits that are against court storming to lash out their hot takes just over a headline without actually watching the event.
That time should have been given to watching this quick zoomed-in replay of what happened. As you can see, Peterson was nowhere near the crowd when he tumbled over.
The Register reported on the event, and picked up this quote from Peterson while he was giving an interview on The Dan Patrick Show Friday morning.
"“I knew the students would come. I’ve seen this happen a hundred times, as you have. I knew the students were coming. I was trying to beat it and it just didn’t work out.”“I was not trampled,” he said. “I was knocked to the ground but as soon as I was on the ground, there was security all over me.”"
For the record, Peterson is fine with court storming.
I’ll also give a waive of my finger to Dan Wetzel, a Yahoo Sports national columnist that I’m actually a big fan of. He’s generally smarter than this, but posted a really uninformed hot take.
The quotes Wetzel is referring to were head coach Steve Prohm glossing over the injury and Jamie Pollard saying, “It is what it is.” Could both men have worded things a little differently? Sure. Does it burn bridges for Peterson and is he going to sue Iowa State? Jesus Christ, no.
It wasn’t that big of a deal. Peterson will hand Iowa State the bill, obviously. But sue? Sue?? Come on.
Let’s not freak out over an isolated incident. Something like this should police the court better, but not take away court storming.
Anyway, I hope that Peterson has a speedy recovery. Everybody in Cyclone Nation appreciates the work that you put out there.
‘U-A-B not winning with class, Cyclowns:’ An Iowa Hawkeye meltdown story
Dec 10, 2015; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Fran McCaffery after losing to the Iowa State Cyclones at James H. Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones beat the Hawkeyes 83-82. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Let me preface this by saying I don’t have a real hatred toward the Iowa Hawkeyes or most fans I know in person. I try to keep my criticism focused on the nameless Hawkeye trolls and anybody that’s told me to insert male genitalia into my face. We had another winner last night who gave me that recommendation, but at the request of the Cyclones’ greatest drunk fan, Ted Flint, I won’t go into it.
(You know, it’s pretty ironic I get those tweets, considering one of their own basketball players told them all to “go suck a fat one.” Never forget.)
I could honestly post about 100-plus tweets I found from Hawkeye fans that resorted to crapping on Iowa State in some form first instead of admitting defeat and how their team completely blew it. This was a complete choke job of the highest order. One of the players scored 30 points in one half.
The Hawkeyes talked about how playing at Hilton Coliseum was just like another arena and not as hard as what they’ve faced. Well, they’ve completely botched two games in the last three years there — learn to close out a game before playing it down.
Yet, instead of taking blame, many a Hawkeye flocked to media personalities and local columnists to just bash Iowa State and Ames. It was a bigger meltdown than their team displayed. For example, Jay Bilas had a joking jab at the crowd, and Hawkeye fan took it seriously.
There’s about 20 or so of those kinds of responses, mostly from Hawk fans. You know, a book called Toughness by Jay Bilas rests alongside the comments in the background. I think a lot of these Hawk fans deserve that for a stocking stuffer this year.
An even better collection of stupid falls in the replies to Travis Hines’ tweet that contained Georges Niang’s quote after the game, “For all the Hawkeyes that didn’t get the message, it’s a Cyclone State.”
Pettiness ensued. All your favorite hits — win with class, UAB, etc. — are all here.
Perhaps it was a 20-point lead cough up right after the rock-solid Iowa football defense that couldn’t stop a Spartan march of 20-plus plays and nearly 10 minutes that made these fans snap. But if you don’t believe how bad it is, look at every tweet from a national or local media member referring to the game last night. I thought Cyclone fan’s overreaction losing to North Dakota State in football last year was pretty awful. This reaction tops it.
No fanbase is devoid of idiots, and I’ll be right there to criticize any stupid fans including the Cyclones — we certainly had fun on the Paul Rhoads saga last year. But the Hawkeyes have a bigger following. Therefore, they’ll reel in more idiots. I expect more dumb comments from Hawkeye fan.
But last night was brutal. For some, insecurity at losing to Iowa State still remains, and they don’t know how to take a loss. At least ESPN’s Chris Hassel, who is an obvious Hawkeye homer, admits that he was crushed after the Iowa loss in football and still joked around shortly after this loss on set.
Get some stones, people.
With all that out of the way, let’s focus on Iowa State still being undefeated after such an unreal comeback. Let’s hope it propels them to play better than they did in the first half on Thursday night.