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Louisville police disperse crowd with tear gas
LOUISVILLE, KY. (AP) - Louisville’s celebration following the Cardinals’ 82-76 victory over Michigan for the NCAA championship eventually required riot police and an armored carrier to quell a disturbance early Tuesday.
Before then, things were mostly peaceful as the Kentucky school and a city reveled in a title victory it had waited for since 1986.
Hundreds streamed onto Cardinal Boulevard after the win, screaming and dancing and lighting off small fireworks in revelry that lasted into the early hours.
“I’ve been waiting for this my whole life,” Millay said. “My dad experienced this. My grandpa experienced this. I needed one of these.”
Elsewhere around town, Cardinals faithful partied in dormitories and around campus, in bars and restaurants and in living rooms after Louisville claimed its third national championship.
Most chose the quiet comforts of home over the noisy crowds that assembled in the Fourth Street Live! entertainment district. But when Louisville emerged victorious at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, emotions were felt everywhere.
“We’ve been waiting for this for the past 27 years,” said Joe Barnes, 61, a University of Louisville alumnus who walked among the thousands of students on Cardinal Boulevard. “This has been one of the best teams that U of L has had. Ever. They’ve showed more spirit, more hustle. They believe in each other.”
Standing ready were a combination of Louisville and campus police and sheriff’s deputies, prepared for large crowds and celebrations that have been commonplace since the Cardinals reached the Final Four and then beat Wichita State in Saturday night’s semifinal.
University spokesman John Drees said more than 5,000 people were estimated to be packed onto Cardinal Boulevard.
“Everybody’s happy,” he said. “Everybody’s celebrating.”
He said police arrested 10 people on charges of drunken and disorderly conduct. Several were injured, two on falls and one with a cut foot.
However, things got out of hand around Cardinal Boulevard and Third Street as the celebration was winding down.
Riot police were called in after an officer was attacked. Students quickly fled the area but several scuffles ensued and bottles were thrown, forcing police to use tear gas. The armored carrier was brought in and order was restored before 2:30 a.m.
The citywide party could be repeated Tuesday night if the Cardinals’ women’s team beats Connecticut for the NCAA championship in New Orleans. For now, the area is savoring the Cardinals’ men’s achievement.
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