It was as inevitable as an invasion of Russia in winter ending badly: some day, an innocuous court-storming would turn ugly with a player-fan incident. Thursday was that day, and Orem, Utah was the unlikely site.
Utah Valley topped New Mexico State 66-61 in an overtime thriller Thursday night. Utah Valley stayed on top of the WAC with the win, but that news took a backseat to what happened after the game.
Utah Valley’s fans stormed the floor after the win, and New Mexico State’s K.C. Ross-Miller wasn’t a fan of how the game ended. As the buzzer sounded, Ross-Miler threw the basketball at Utah Valley’s Holton Hunsaker as fans began flooding onto the floor. And things escalated quickly from there.
Ross-Miller’s actions incited a strong reaction from Utah Valley fans, who promptly began to trade punches with several New Mexico State players.
There is no doubt that the NCAA will look into this and possibly try to ban court-storming in some way. It has always been frowned upon by the organization but no concrete steps have been taken to curb the practice. Thursday night’s ugly incident may be the final straw.
Video of the incident is below followed by a very disturbing GIF of a punch thrown (look towards the far right of the image.