While basking in a Wildcat victory on Saturday, I opened up my Twitter app to check out the reaction. K-State had just toppled No. 1 Oklahoma. I watched on television as Wildcat players rushed toward the stands to celebrate with the student population. The entire Internet would be tinted purple. Life was good.

Or so I thought.

Twitter disagreed.

One of the first tweets I encountered accused K-State President Kirk Schulz of personally sucking all fun out of the victory by not allowing students to rush the court.

This particular tweeter was not alone in his assessment of the situation. Segments of K-State’s Twitter population virtually buried Schulz and Director of Athletics John Currie in mounds of snark and venom, all surrounding the fact administration allegedly enacted a plan to discourage thousands of students from hopping rails and pouring onto the Bramlage Coliseum hardwood.

Was prosecution threatened?

Were students just practicing a “safety first” way of life?

Was this an overreaction to previous chicken wings?

Are K-State leaders part of the new Axis of Evil?

As questions multiplied, one query overshadowed everything else in my head.

Who cares?

K-State had just beaten Oklahoma, a team regarded by a collection of media folk across the nation as the BEST TEAM IN THE COUNTRY. They felled No. 1. Toppled the king. Beat the man (which, per “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, is step one in the one-step plan required to be the man).

The Wildcats had just earned a HUGE victory at home… and fans were spewing the sort of fiery rage usually reserved for referees when KU hits The Little Apple.

I understand that court-storming is a celebration unique to college basketball. It’s a chance take all of the pent up angst from 40 minutes of basketball action and release it in unison with thousands of new friends, swarming the players who just made it happen in the process. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience, and – frankly – it’s a great image for photos and highlight packages. Even coach Bruce Weber mentioned that he wished the students had been able to celebrate on the floor.

That said, lack of such court-centered stormage should not take anything away from the satisfaction that comes with a victory.

When a friend marries the love of his life, you’re (hopefully) happy for him. You aren’t ticked because the church frowned upon your idea for Fireball shots and bottle rockets after the vows.

When your cousin has a baby, you’re excited for her. You don’t tweet nasty things at the hospital’s Twitter account because the birthing center wouldn’t let you bring an air horn and a six-pack into the maternity ward.

K-State’s season to-date has not been the sort that pleasant dreams are made of. They dropped five of six games to start the conference season. Their starting point guard is done for the year. Old friend Frank Martin has pushed South Carolina into the Top 25.

K-State NEEDED a win like this. Gratification is appropriate garb for the occasion.

Be happy for players like Wesley Iwundu, who suffered through the compost-pile-aboard-a-train-that-wrecked-into-a-burning-dumpster season of 2014-2015 to get to this point. Iwundu controlled Saturday’s game, not only filling up the stat sheet (22 points, 7 assists), but playing lockdown defense on OU’s all-everything gunner Buddy Hield.

Be happy for DJ Johnson, whose foot injury kept him out of action for 16 months. After suffering through therapy and setbacks, Johnson could have easily decided enough was enough and called his basketball career complete. Instead, he is becoming a force in the paint on both ends of the floor, finishing Saturday with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot.

Be happy for the new guys. Dean Wade, Barry Brown and Carlbe Ervin, among others, haven’t had it easy this season. Ideally, newcomers in college basketball have the opportunity to adjust to speed of play and quality of competition before heaving loads of responsibility upon their shoulders. K-State, featuring the sort of roster turnover usually reserved for pickup games at the Y, has had no such luxury.

Finally, be happy for Bruce Weber. He may not have the Wildcats in the Top 25. He may not be Frank Martin. He may not be the coach that pushes the Wildcats back to the Elite Eight. He is, however, the head of this Wildcat team; a team that has worked to overcome adversity and achieve results.

No, students did not fill the Bramlage floor on Saturday.

Again, who cares?

Games are played to be won.

K-State won.

Life is good… no matter what the Internet says.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Derek Larson. You might remember me from such autobiographical blurbs as “Yo Soy Derek” and “Paste Blurb Here.” I was born and raised in the Manhattan area and I graduated from Kansas State University in 2005. Now I’m now adjusting to life in the land of husking corn. My groom’s cake was a Powercat and I was once convinced that the future of Wildcat basketball was a seven-foot volleyball player. I’ve written about K-State sports in different capacities, often without people asking me to. My hobbies include bringing more purple to Lincoln, Neb., and making vague (and not-so-vague) references to The Simpsons. Follow me on Twitter at @dereklarson.

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