Originally created 04/08/04

Violence again seen as University of Connecticut men and women sweep college basketball championships

STORRS, Conn. -- A second national basketball title brought a second night of overblown celebration at the University of Connecticut.

Two hours after the women's basketball team won its third-straight NCAA championship, fans overturned two cars and set one of them on fire Tuesday night at the Celeron Square apartment complex about a mile north of campus. There were no reports of injuries.

It was at the same apartment complex Monday night, after the men's basketball team won its second national championship in five years, where revelers overturned two cars and set several bonfires. Police arrested 35 people on and off campus after the men's game.

UConn police reported about five arrests early Wednesday for several incidents around campus. The exact charges were not immediately available.

Several thousand people who watched the women's game on large screen televisions in Gampel Pavilion spilled out onto the UConn campus. Fans set a small bonfire outside the arena, yelled, waved pompoms, jumped on a TV satellite truck and climbed trees.

"It's history in the making," said Leticia Flowers, a sociology major.

The women's 70-61 victory over the University of Tennessee in New Orleans was its third consecutive national crown and made Connecticut the first major school to sweep both titles.

Earlier in the day, nearly 5,500 fans decked out in UConn apparel and waving blue and white pompoms greeted the men's team at Gampel Pavilion.

Many stayed to watch the women's game on large screen televisions. Laura Howard, a 20-year-old junior economics major, held a "Twice Would Be Nice" sign.

Jim Devanney, 62, was among several hundred die-hard Husky fans who waited in line to get good seats at the celebration.

"Connecticut is the basketball capital of the world," he said.


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