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Orange Krush’s attempt at trickery adds fire to Iowa rivalry

The stakes for Saturday’s game kept rising all week.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, yeah, you’ve probably heard about this story a million times over the past few days. The thing is, it just keeps getting more and more interesting.

So let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Don’t worry, this won’t take long. Everything you need to know about the events that transpired up until Saturday’s heavily anticipated game against Iowa is right here.


In early September, the Big Ten schedule was released, giving the Orange Krush opportunities to buy game tickets for its student group.

Krush vice president ​Kilton Rauman bought 200 tickets for this Saturday’s road game against the Hawkeyes. He received the tickets in the mail in October, and for months, everything seemed fine.

What Rauman didn’t know was that three days before the game, his weekend plans were going to change.

“[We] got a call letting us know that our tickets have been invalidated, and if we tried to use them at Carver Hawkeye, the bar code wouldn’t work,” Rauman told TCR.

The Krush VP admitted to buying the tickets in September under the name of “a boys and girls club”.

Now bear with me here. This is where the story gets complicated.

The Krush released a statement on social media shortly after the tickets were revoked, but the organization failed to mention that it used a different name than Orange Krush to buy the tickets.

What ensued was a series of statements on social media that sent both sides into a frenzy.

Iowa’s athletic department responded that an Illinois chapter of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club made a discounted group ticket order, only for the university to discover it was the Krush the entire time.

​Rauman claimed that he bought the tickets without any knowledge of a group discount. He had a reason, but it was not price related.

“In the past, they’ve declined to sell to the Orange Krush, which is their right, and it’s totally understandable,” Rauman said. “Why would a Big Ten school want to sell to another Big Ten student section?”

His attempt as “a boys and girls club” was viewed by many as an act of fraud. A few more statements and an Orange Krush apology later, the media coverage reached a more national level.

Yahoo Sports and ESPN articles were being released with headlines claiming the same discount story that Iowa had mentioned in each of its statements.

Without any proof of the Krush’s intentions, it’s all speculation. However, just hours before the game on Saturday, ESPN’s “College GameDay” added its own take to the situation.

The show’s counterparts viewed this entire “debacle” as a fun boost to the already heated rivalry. Host Rece Davis believed the Krush was just trying to get into the game to stir the pot.

“People complained about it being discounted, but if you buy a set of group tickets, it’s not like they went in and tried to get a discount,” Davis said. “That’s just what happens when you try to buy 200.”​

No one loved the move more than former Duke star and college basketball analyst Jay Bilas.

“I think the whole thing is awesome,” Bilas said. “I love what the Orange Krush does, going to a game and getting in however they get in.

“If (the Duke student section) did that, everybody would be celebrating. It’s the coolest thing.”​

Each member of the college basketball talk show chose to view this as yet another reason to love the game. Heck, they even pointed out the handful of the North Carolina student section that made it into Cameron Indoor Stadium for the UNC-Duke game Saturday night.

Rivalries make college basketball passionate and exciting, and the moves made by each side reinforce the hatred and toxicity they have for one another.

Illinois and Iowa, this rivalry isn’t losing its luster anytime soon. These recent developments have made that abundantly clear.

Here’s the bottom line: whether you’re an Illinois fan or an Iowa fan. You can choose to make these events riddled with controversy, or they can be enjoyed for what they are.

Moments that make this rivalry great.


You didn’t think we would forget about KAMS, did you?

After receiving refunds for the 200 tickets, the Krush only received a refund for half of its bus transportation costs.

KAMS, the off-campus bar, surprised Rauman and the other students by donating six grand — the amount they lost — to the organization.

It also offered each of the 200 students an invitation to the bar on Saturday for a watch party, and Rauman says he couldn’t be more thankful.

“I think they deserve to be the home of the Orange Krush,” Rauman said. “If they’re willing to host us and prioritize us — show us how big of Illini fans they are — and take it to another level by donating six thousand dollars to the Orange Krush foundation, that’s an unbelievable move.”

Rauman reiterated that he can’t commend KAMS enough, and he expects every single member of the 200 to watch the Illini at the bar on Saturday.

*When contacted about the series of events, the Iowa athletic department declined to comment any further.*