Knock out the defending national champions and the world wants to know more.
Knock out the defending national champions and then, just maybe, the No. 1 seed in the NCAA men's basketball tournament and you become the next big thing.
And when your team has a 6-foot-9, 270-pounder with a fear of flying bringing the ball up court, then you are Royce White and Iowa State and playing No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday.
So here's some help in getting ahead of the Royce steamroller:
The Sporting News website said this morning that "there's nobody quite like Royce White."
A Kentucky fan site, Wildcat Blue Nation, citing a story from the Cedar Rapids Gazette, is wondering if White's fear of flying -- linked to an anxiety disorder that he's talked about -- kept him from transferring to Kentucky after he parted with the Gophers program.
The Gazette article says that White was driven from Cedar Rapids to the regional site in Louisville, by his grandfather.
“He’s my grandson and if this helps him get through it it’s the least I can do," said Frank White of St. Paul of the 600-plus mile road trip. “I know earlier in the season he had a tough plane ride, and I think he was on the (arena) floor thinking about the plane ride home instead of focusing on the game.”
Grandfather-and-grandson are also profiled in this New York Times piece.
It's understandable that there's some revisionist history around here about what White could be doing for the Gophers right now if his off-court issues hadn't resulted in him leaving school. He is leading an NCAA tournament team in scoring, rebounding, assists, blocked shots and steals -- and the Gophers, finishing yet another season with the March sadness of an NIT berth,.would no doubt be a better team with him.
Revisionist history is front-and-center trendy in Minnesota these days with Joe Mauer (stupid signing), David Kahn (not so stupid after all, huh?) and Tubby Smith (Kentucky wasn't stupid, either) being the biggest current targets. And who can forget when Jerry Kill was a stupid hire and Donovan McNabb wasn't a stupid idea?
Back to White: He'll be one of the biggest stories of March Madness until the tipoff of Saturdays' game against Kentucky. And if the Cyclones beat the Wildcats, the 6-foot-9 guy who brings the ball up court, will be flat-out huge.
Prepare for that, kids.
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