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Celebration in Durham

Jenna Johnson

You missed a great party in Durham last night.

Duke students who couldn't make the 10-hour road trip to Indianapolis for the NCAA Tournament Championship game gathered in the Cameron Indoor Stadium to watch the game on lowered scoreboards.

The stadium was filled with blue-clad fans chanting, "Let's go Duke!" in unison throughout the game, The Duke Chronicle reports.

And as the team claimed the 2010 national title -- beating Butler 61 to 59 -- the 4,500 spectators in Durham stormed the empty court and then filled the streets in celebration.

It was quite the party. And you can relive it by watching lots of videos on You Tube.

"It's one of the best experiences I've had at Duke," graduate student John Tortorella told the Chronicle. "I've been to all the games... couldn't ask for a better season."

The Chronicle takes you there:

After the victory, a bonfire blazed on Main West and students, faculty, alumni and administrators welcomed the win by burning benches carried from across East and West Campuses. Toilet paper and splintered wood filled the air over the crackling fire under Duke's historic oaks.
"It was fantastic, I was so pleased with the seniors especially. I was so happy to watch it in Cameron," Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said. "This is the way it's supposed to be."
Firefighters put out the fire around 2 a.m as the crowd of thousands dwindled to a few hundred.
Assistant Chief Gloria Graham of the Duke University Police Department said that as of 1:30 a.m., the celebration was under control, adding that there had been about two responses by emergency medical services because of "minor cuts." She added that none of the responses were alcohol-related.

The celebration continued Tuesday. The Chronicle has switched out the 'o' in its name for a basketball on its Web site. The university's Web site is dominated by a photo of the team and the words, "Champions Again."

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By Jenna Johnson  |  April 6, 2010; 11:22 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: Butler, Duke University  
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Other news reports disagree on this characterization of Duke's campus after the game.

DUKE BASKETBALL VICTORY CELEBRATION MUTED

DURHAM -- Amid the whoops and hollers, and the traditional bonfire bench burnings, longtime basketball observers could not help but notice a distinct shadow falling across Duke's on-campus national championship victory celebration. The celebration, they observed, was less exuberant, less unabridgedly blissful than previous such celebrations as Duke fans, the team and coaches included, admitted still not having fully recovered from the University of North Carolina team's loss in the National Invitational Tournament final on Thursday night.

"It was a testament to our team's heart that they were even able to play tonight's game at all after watching the UNC loss on Thursday," said Duke Coach Michael Krzyzewski. "They were just down," he said. "But they fought through it," he added. "A lot of the tears after the championship game were not for joy, they were out of sadness that the Heels couldn't celebrate with us," said Krzyzewski.

"It's hard to fully enjoy our success while still smarting from the Tar Heels falling just short of their goal," said Final Four MVP Kyle Singler. "To tell the truth, this barely feels better than the feeling I had last year when the Tar Heels won it all," he added.

"The first thing I did after I got off the court," said Krzyzewski, "was call Roy (Williams) to make sure he was still doing OK. It's hard to put your heart into a celebration when you know your friend is in pain."

"Maybe later," said Duke assistant coach Chris Collins, "after the Tar Heel team has a chance to appreciate how good their incoming players are and that they still have a chance to win in future, and they cheer up, we will be able to fully appreciate our win too."

***

Just in case anyone wants to drag my Tar Heels into the discussion, as one local wit put it: Just wait 'til last year!

Here's one take on the Blue v. Blue rivalry:
Spittin' distance down Tobacco Road
http://garygaddy.tripod.com/blog/index.blog?from=20090305

Posted by: TarHeelReader | April 6, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

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