2001 NCAA Men's Tourney
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Party all the time

Duke students pour onto campus to celebrate title

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Tuesday April 03, 2001 12:55 AM
Updated: Tuesday April 03, 2001 1:16 AM

  Duke students Many of the 6,000 students who gathered at Cameron Indoor Stadium made the trek to the quad for the bonfire. AP

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke students danced around a bonfire and shot off fireworks as the school celebrated its third national basketball championship.

Students stayed in Cameron Indoor Stadium for a few minutes after the Blue Devils' 82-72 victory against Arizona in Minneapolis on Monday night, jumping up and down and hugging as "2001 National Champions" flashed on the scoreboard.

The students then ran out of the arena in a group with their arms raised, pumping their fists and chanting "We're No. 1!"

"Awesome!" said Chelsea Castellano, who walked arm-in-arm to the bonfire with friends. "I love basketball!"

As students made their way to the bonfire, an impromptu party broke out in front of Psi Phi fraternity house.

Two people had suffered minor injuries by 1 a.m., police said. One student was hit over the eye by a beer can while another student fell down some stairs in a dormitory. No one had been arrested, police said.

At the bonfire, flames climbed up to 20 feet and students danced around it, adding fuel to the fire with whatever they could find. Duke spokesman Keith Lawrence said the students would not be allowed to add fuel to the fire after 1:30 a.m., with the fire being extinguished an hour later.

Bottle rockets and other fireworks flew through the air -- some at dangerously low levels -- while shirtless, beer-drinking young men shouted and flexed their muscles. The aroma of beer and cigars wafted throughout the quad and one streaker made his way through the crowd.

"Madness right now," one student said. "It's madness."

Another young woman took off her shirt and twirled her bra around before a security guard tried to arrest her. A group of students blocked the security guard, who was last seen following the woman into one of the dormitories.

Toilet paper littered the trees around the bonfire and many students were hanging out of dorm windows. Heat from the bonfire kept most students about 20 feet away, but that didn't stop some from roasting weenies in the blaze. Bouts of co-ed mud wrestling also broke out on the quad.

During the game, Cameron Indoor Stadium was packed, with a fire marshal estimating the crowd at 6,500. Many of the students were down on the tarp-covered floor, chanting and hopping in front of a huge television screen that hanged in front of Duke's retired jersey banners.

Chris Ritter, a freshman from Virginia Beach, Va., and girlfriend Tiffany Bogel, a freshman from Tampa, Fla., came skipping out of Cameron at halftime with smiles on their faces.

"The game's awesome," Ritter said.

Bogel was less enthusiastic, but still happy. "I was always a football fan," she said. "But this is good."

For Norwegian exchange student Trygve Fjeldhein, the atmosphere was better than he could have imagined.

"We get reports from previous exchange students that basketball is a big thing here,' Fjeldhein explained. "And you say, 'yeah, sure'...and you basically become a big fan."

Jasmin Chalakani, an exchange student from Munich, celebrated by hugging friend Caitie Caraldo.

"It's so great," Chalakani said. "I never thought I would like basketball when I came here. I loved it. It just brings a sense of community."

Caraldo, a junior from New Jersey, agreed. "It's the one thing that brings our whole school together."


 
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