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Zapruder Analysis: WAC College Basketball Post-Game Fight

Cruise_Fighting.JPG
From movieclip.com on Youtube
WAC gets in their jabs like Cruise.
There's a scene in the Tom Cruise movie Far and Away (Yes, I know, I know...on the list of Cruise movies, this one is a tad obscure. It's like talking about the 2009 NBA Draft and bringing up Eric Maynor instead of James Harden or Blake Griffin) when the home of the wealthy Irish landlord is burned to the ground, and, as the landlord's wife is going through the charred remains of her home, she mutters despondently, "This is not the Ireland of my birth..."

That's kind of how I feel about the Western Athletic Conference (which is still and always will be the WAC to you and me).

What was once a trendy Mountain time zone football pinball machine has through realignment morphed into this unrecognizable mishmosh of orphaned state schools, brought together by a common mediocrity in all things athletic.

To wit, something called a "Utah Valley" is currently atop the WAC standings at 11-3 in conference play.

To a lesser extent than I (since I go back to the high-flying WAC days of BYU and Ty Detmer...that will ALWAYS be the WAC to me!), New Mexico State and Idaho probably feel like the Irish landlord's wife, too. They've actually been in the league since 2005, and can fondly recall the glory days of Jared Zabransky and Boise State ruling the roost.

Now they're stuck with Chicago State, Cal State Bakersfield and Grand Canyon.

Seriously, the Grand Canyon has a school? Do the students ride mules down a narrow trail to class at the bottom of the basin? And how soon until the WAC adds Yellowstone Park and Old Faithful? So many questions.

Anyway, perhaps it was some of that "realignment orphan" angst that made New Mexico State guard K.C. Ross-Miller zing the basketball at Utah Valley's Holton Hunsaker at the end of a thrilling 66-61 overtime win by UVU. That touched off this melee:

Court storming combined with a simmering brawl is a bad hormonal combination, like taking a hungry lion and putting him in a cage with a coked-up black bear (I would watch that fight, by the way.). With the banning of post-game court storming in college basketball being a huge topic of discussion these days, this incident will not help the cause for those who see storming the court as one of the rites of passage of the collegiate student experience.

Let's Zapruder briefly for a few highlights:

 

0:17 -- There's the throw from Ross-Miller, and he brings the heat. Ninety-five miles per hour right at below Hunsaker's waistline. The two engage in some verbal barbs and begin to approach one another, while the coaches for both teams (perhaps fearing their entire rosters being suspended) jump in to break things up.

0:24 -- A bunch of students are rushing the floor while tempers are flaring. The students are essentially human kerosene on a vitriol fire.

0:37 -- As best I can tell, there are two distinct fighting incidents that can be deciphered in the mass of humanity. The first is one of the New Mexico State players duking it out with a UVU student in a dark green T-shirt. They are separated by what appears to be a diminutive UVU fanboy dressed head to toe in fluorescent green, as if Jesse Pinkman went as a green highlighter for Halloween, he would be this guy. (He's one to watch toward the end as well.) Also, there was....

0:40 -- ...off to the far right of the screen, it appears to be number 25, Renaldo Dixon from the Aggies, firing a total sucker punch on someone and scurrying away. Deadspin even managed to catch it in animated GIF form. That will not end well for Dixon, who apparently forgot we live in an age where everyone can pretty much see everything you do everywhere except the pisser.

0:44 -- Fake Pinkman is doing work! There are four types of people trying to quell the riot -- police, coaches, security personnel and Fake Pinkman. Seriously, he's looking for serious Good Samaritan dap, or trying to compile a video résumé so that one day he can be a real security guard.

If this were a game between two schools everyone knew existed, it would be leading SportsCenter and we would be subject to contrived debates for the next two days on the danger of storming the court. But alas, most of us are just now finding out that there's such thing as "Utah Valley University," which sounds like a school that "Minnesota State" would have played on the sitcom Coach.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.


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