I cringe whenever I see UW students rush the court after a Kohl Center basketball victory, as they did after last Saturday's win over then-number-one Ohio State.
At this point in the college basketball season, upsets seem to happen every other day - witness Kansas State's takedown of top-ranked Kansas. Time and again, ESPN features shots of fans filling gym floors, from the West Coast Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Rushing the court used to be reserved for improbable upsets. Like in 1997, when Dick Bennett's unranked Badgers toppled second-ranked Minnesota in the UW Field House. But Bo Ryan's Badgers have compiled a Kohl Center record of 149-11. So why is a victory over a conference foe like Ohio State that big a deal?
Badger hoops fans constantly kvetch on talk radio and online message boards about the lack of respect their team gets. They have a point: The Badgers contend each year for the Big Ten title and are locks for inclusion in the NCAA tournament. Saturday's victory wasn't a big surprise to people who watch a lot of college basketball.
No, beating the nation's top-ranked team, particularly when it's undefeated, doesn't happen every day. But as Ryan pointed out at his Monday press conference, "It's not like this is a 5-20 team. These guys have been in some situations where they understand what the moment is about."
You'd think fans who have followed this team for more than a few weeks would be in the same position.