- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Thousands of cheering University of Maryland Terrapins fans yesterday welcomed home the newly crowned NCAA men's basketball champions with tearful pride and wholehearted jubilation yesterday, a day after the team defeated the Indiana University Hoosiers 64-52 to win the university's first national title in eight decades.
Fans packed Cole Field House on the College Park campus as coach Gary Williams and the Terrapins team took the stage to thank their supporters, display the crystal basketball trophy and raise a new victory banner.
Standing ovations and cheers were the order of the day.
"To be No. 1 is totally amazing," said university President C.D. Mote Jr. "This is the stuff of dreams."
All-American guard Juan Dixon, whose presence almost brought the house down, told the crowd jokingly, "Chill out. You are trying to get me emotional."
He clearly was.
The crowd a mixture of students, alumni, parents and devoted fans couldn't contain themselves, jumping up and down with banners reading "Thank you, Juan" or "Go Baxter" for center Lonny Baxter.
"I am just thrilled," said Jason Bumiller, 24, who graduated last year. "I am just sorry I wasn't still at the university."
Uju Enendu, a junior in economics, left her pompoms but not her spirit at home.
"It is such a great feeling," she said. "It is something new and exciting. It is something we just haven't done before."
Around campus, students wore Terrapins T-shirts, talked about the victory and tried to concentrate on school work unsuccessfully.
"They should have canceled class," said Brooke Goldstein, a sophomore from Silver Spring. "It feels like a holiday."
Her friend, junior Taryn Ahnert, agreed.
"It was hard to concentrate in class," she said. "Even our teacher who doesn't know much about sports was getting in to it. Everyone was really upbeat today."
Students were more subdued in their reaction to the rioting Monday night, the only thing that marred the team's victory.
Peter Kwok, an exchange student from England, called the victory exciting, but "wasn't happy about the riots." He was hit with pepper spray after getting caught up in them.
"I was choking up," he said. "I was there to spectate, not cause trouble. That was too bad."
It was "messed up," said Avantika Kaur, a sophomore from Virginia who called the victory "so cool." "It is disgraceful and defeats the point of being a champion."
Most students were afraid that the misbehavior and arrests give the newly victorious university "a bad name."
"It is not something we do after every game," said Miss Enendu, who said she was at home during the riot. "Everyone was just excited and got carried away. I doubt it will happen again."


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide