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Fans celebrate Connecticut sweep

UConn Celebration, 2nd Ld-Writethru

STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Thousands of Connecticut students and fans celebrated the school's unprecedented sweep of the men's and women's NCAA titles Tuesday night.

Connecticut completed the sweep with a 70-61 victory over Tennessee in the women's final in New Orleans, with several thousand people watching the game on large-screen televisions in Gampel Pavilion. On Monday night, the men's team beat Georgia Tech 82-73 in San Antonio.

After the women's victory, fans spilled out of the arena. Some set a small bonfire outside the arena, yelled, waved pompoms and jumped on a TV satellite truck.

``It's history in the making,'' said Leticia Flowers, a 21-year-old sociology major from Windsor.

There were broadcast reports of some arrests. Police officers saturated the area, and firefighters were ready to respond to any problems.

The women's team was expected to arrive back home at Bradley International Airport on Wednesday afternoon and take center stage at a pep rally at Gampel Pavilion.

Earlier in the day, thousands of boisterous fans welcomed the men's team home at the airport and a rally at Gampel.

Emeka Okafor, the star center selected the most outstanding player of the men's Final Four, was weary from the trip back to Storrs on Tuesday. He hadn't had much sleep, and he was still finding the accomplishment somewhat unbelievable.

``We were actually in the championship game and we actually won the dang thing,'' Okafor said. ``We made a lot of people proud.''

When Ben Gordon got on stage to address the Gampel crowd of 5,500, the arena erupted into chants of ``One more year.'' Gordon, a junior guard, is expected to skip his senior year for the NBA.

``I just want to thank everyone in this building,'' Gordon said. ``It's been a great three years here.''

Jim Calhoun, the architect of the Huskies' two men's national titles, was greeted with shouts of ``Hall of Fame!'' He learned on Monday that he had fallen one vote short of being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.


Associated Press Writer Sarah Coffey in Storrs contributed to this report.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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