While some may question the logic behind Maryland’s students storming the court following a buzzer beating win over No. 14 N.C. State, the Terps players enjoyed the celebration.
Alex Len, who scored the game winner and gave Maryland its first win over a ranked opponent since 2010, called the students rushing the court an “amazing feeling.”
Speaking to the media after the win, Len said that during the post-game madness somebody from the crowd jumped on his back. Asked if he minded, Len smiled wide, and said that it was great.
Terps coach Mark Turgeon was happy the team got to have that experience, not to mention that his Terps broke a 17-game losing streak to ranked teams with the win.
“We’re going to celebrate. I was happy for the guys and the students,” Turgeon said. “We haven’t won a big game since Greivis [Vasquez] was here. I didn’t come here to be mediocre.”
Freshman guard Seth Allen had never experienced a win like Maryland recorded Wednesday night, and he loved the experience.
“It’s the greatest feeling ever,” Allen said of the students rushing the floor.
Allen clung to sophomore forward Dez Wells as the students poured onto the court, holding on to one another and celebrating with their fellow students. The spontaneous court-storming celebration is unique to college sports, and for the Terps it was incredible.
Some of the college basketball cognoscenti turned their noses at the Maryland students for storming the court. Seth Davis, of CBS and Sports Illustrated, took to Twitter to call out the move.
Maryland fans have been all over me about not ranking them. So they act like they won a title by beating the 14th ranked team. Turgeon too.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) January 17, 2013
ESPN anchor and Maryland alum Scott Van Pelt acknowledged that perhaps a program with history like Maryland should not celebrate a narrow victory over the No. 14 ranked team in the country. At the same time, Van Pelt didn't see the need for criticism.
@sethdavishoops They needed a win. They got one. It's obviously not storm worthy. Have a green juice and relax.
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) January 17, 2013
Regardless of Davis’ critique, the players found the court storming gratifying.
“Everybody was celebrating,” Len said. “Everybody was on the court, it was just an amazing feeling.”
With his last basket Len registered his first ever game-winning shot, and the response from the crowd seemed appropriate.
“We’ve got the best fans, probably in the country,” Len said, smiling again.