|(US college basketball) Smashing celebration lasts into small hours
Jubilant fans celebrating the University of Connecticut's US college basketball championship win smashed a window in an engineering building, broke street lights and overturned furniture inside the school's student union.
(Pictured, Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie, center, joins in the fun)
Campus police had made 30 arrests by 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, while state police had made others and more were expected, said University of Connecticut spokesman Tom Breen, AP reports.
“A lot of it was alcohol-related,'' Breen said. “There was breech of peace, destruction of property, and we had a fireworks charge.''
Most of the property damage was minor, he said.
There were no serious injuries.
“By far, most of our students have conducted themselves safely and responsibly,'' UConn Police Chief Barbara O'Connor said.
More than 10,000 UConn students shook the stands inside Gampel Pavilion, erupted in cheers and stormed the arena floor as the Huskies beat Kentucky 60-54 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association title game, giving the program its fourth national championship, and second in four years.
Students waited in line for up to four hours to get a seat inside the arena just to watch on three large movie screens as their team played2,736 kilometers away in Arlington, Texas.
The arena was filled a half-hour after the doors opened, and hundreds more fans were turned away.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock in Texas, the UConn students pushed their way on the floor, turning it into a giant mosh pit.
After the victory the students went outside onto a plaza for a dance party in the rain. The school hired a disc jockey in an effort to keep crowds of students under control. As many danced, others were hanging from trees and light poles and throwing firecrackers.
Extra campus police and state police patrolled on and around campus and several fire companies were on standby with ambulances. Several people were helped from the arena by paramedics, apparently with alcohol-related issues.
On Tuesday, UConn's undefeated women's basketball will be seeking its ninth title when it plays Notre Dame in New Orleans.