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“It’s huge,” said freshman Paul DeNeve. “We have not only won tonight but the women’s team plays tomorrow.”

Including the football team’s Sugar Bowl win over Florida on Jan. 2, he said, “we are arguably one of the nation’s best sports universities right now.”

The men’s championship was a nervous watch for Louisville’s fan base, which saw the Cardinals trail by 12 in the first half before rallying to 38-37 at the break. Louisville eventually went ahead and led by 10 in the second, withstanding Michigan’s attempts to come back.

At halftime, the near-capacity crowd at Cluckers bar was on their feet, leaping in unison after the Cardinals erased that deficit. That boosted confidence in closing the deal on Louisville’s first title in a generation _ not to mention, anticipation for how to toast it.

“It’s going to be a party,” said Elliott Benjamin, 21, of Jeffersonville, Ind. “Not like Kentucky (last year). But it’s going to be something.”

Krissy Van Laan and friend Lindsay McDaniel had their spots at the Ri’ Ra’ Irish Pub, staying all the way through and witnessing the mayhem that unfolded immediately afterward.

“Everybody was so excited. It was unbelievable,” Van Laan said. “Once it got down to 4 seconds left, I knew we had it. People were running out in the streets and excited. This is just unbelievable.”

Police officers were stationed in areas where rowdy outdoor celebrations were expected, as they were on Saturday night after Louisville’s win over Wichita State in the national semifinal.

Louisville assistant chief Kenton Bucker said additional police were moved to a two-block area of West Broadway because of fighting and disorderly behavior there this past weekend. There were nine arrests in the area, and crowds stayed out until around 1 a.m.

Buckner said about 200 police officers, sheriff’s deputies, corrections officers and medical staff were working at sites where crowds were likely to gather.

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Associated Press writer Dylan Lovan contributed to this report.