That team that beat Texas in football?
Well, yes that happened, but I am talking about Kansas basketball. The Big 12 champs for the past 57 years or something. The Big 12 ref’s golden boys who can do no wrong (seriously, look at the stats backing up their free throw attempts at home compared to their opponent over the last few years, it’s crazy). KU travels to Stillwater on Saturday to the legendary Gallagher-Iba Arena as the No. 1 team in the nation. All eyes will be on KU as it looks to cap off the season to prepare for the Big 12 tournament and probably a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, but ESPN will be showing something it has grown accustom to seeing over the past few years when KU travels to OSU – a court storm.
I was a bright-eyed, Cowboy basketball fanatic my freshman year of 2013-14. I remember the hype surrounding that team. The Cowboys were Final Four favorites to begin the year. The team that featured Marcus “One More Year” Smart, Markel “SC Top 10 Dunk Highlight Reel” Brown, “Le’Bash Nash,” Phil “Drain a 3 All the Way From Pawnee” Forte and Michael “Young Cobbo” Cobbins, were sure to be a lock in at least the Sweet Sixteen. Finally, the days of glory were returning to OSU basketball.
As we all know, Cobbins tore his Achilles and those dreams were met with a harsh reality with a cheap two-point loss in Kansas (Yes, Big 12 refs, when you put your arm through the goal to block a dunk it is goal tending *insert middle finger emoji*) and then a seven-game losing streak in conference play, which included the infamous Marcus Smart fight with a fan. But, I was still optimistic when No. 5 KU came to town March 1.
The OkState Gents account was fresh to the Twittersphere, and I spent the entire week talking more trash to KU fans than the local dump in Lawrence. I just had a feeling that night would be special. The team was starting to pick up steam with demoralizing wins against Texas Tech and TCU, and I had a feeling our boys would come through with a victory. Otherwise, I knew I was going to look like a huge idiot on Twitter that night.
I showed up early to the game and still ended up sitting three rows from the top of GIA with some of my friends because so many KU fans had packed into a sold-out GIA. I guess they bring them in by the trailer load from Lawrence. We even sat next to some old obnoxious KU fans. Early in the night, some KU player made a dunk and one of the fans turned around to me and yelled “WHAT’S UP?! WHAT’S UP?” I won’t repeat what I said back, but it was not friendly. I began to wonder if he had “old man strength” because getting your butt kicked by someone 30 years older than you was not something I wanted to explain back to parents or the girl I was dating at the time. But immediately after, the Cowboys showed up in a huge way. Marcus was doing Smart things, Phil was pulling 3’s up from Perkins and Markel was ripping the rim off the board. We got a comfortable lead when one of our boys bashed on the rim and I got to look that sweaty KU fan right in the eyes and yell “WHAT’S UP?! WHAT’S UP?!” It was a sweet, sweet personal victory.
All of my friends knew a court storm was coming. With about three minutes left in the game, we waved goodbye to the old sad KU fan (he got much quieter during the second half) and took off down the stairs. We waited behind a group of students and jumped over the railing when the buzzer sounded and took off down onto the court. I was running up and embracing every player I could and they were hugging and high-fiving every fan they could. The chants began “OSU, OSU, OSU!” Players got hoisted up in the air. It truly is an incredible rush you can really only experience as a college fan. Sure you can a court when you’re 45, but I highly doubt it’s the same.
This has been my favorite court storming experience so far (I’ve had a few), but this Saturday we will get a chance for another court storm. This Cowboy team is red-hot and will come out pistols firing for senior night. The game is already sold out, the GIAnt has been awoken and the Rowdy is back. Show up, be so loud you can’t speak the next day and storm the court with me as we upset the No. 1 team in the nation. This year, we’ll storm the court for an upset, but it won’t be too long until we’re storming the court because of a Big 12 championship.
Follow: @theozoneonline, @GentsOkstate