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Louisville's NCAA parties turn rowdy

Cardinals players celebrate on the court in Atlanta. Back home, all-night parties eventually bring out police with riot gear and pepper spray.

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Cardinals players celebrate on the court in Atlanta. Back home, all-night parties eventually bring out police with riot gear and pepper spray.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Fans poured into the streets to celebrate Louisville's NCAA championship win over Michigan, throwing all-night parties that became so raucous police in riot gear used pepper spray to break them up.

Gatherings were mostly peaceful late Monday night after the 82-76 victory — the school's third title, and first since 1986. Louisville police said most of the 23 arrests were due to drunken or disorderly conduct.

Hundreds streamed onto Cardinal Boulevard, screaming, dancing and setting off small fireworks in revelry that lasted into the early hours.

Things got out of hand as the celebration was winding down early Tuesday, with police in riot gear and an armored car arriving after large, unruly crowds refused to disperse.

Several scuffles followed, and some partiers threw bottles at police, hitting an officer in the head, said police spokeswoman Carey Klain. The officer received minor injuries and was treated at a hospital and released, Klain said. Police responded to the bottle throwers with pepper spray.

A few revelers received minor injuries, said university spokesman John Drees. Two were injured in falls and another had a cut foot.

"This means everything," said Connor Millay, 19, a Northern Kentucky University student who traveled to Louisville despite facing two tests Tuesday. "I've been waiting for this my whole life. My dad experienced this. My grandpa experienced this. I needed one of these."

Meanwhile, About 700 Michigan fans threw an enthusiastic welcome-home party for the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. Coach John Beilein told supporters at Crisler Center on Tuesday that the program took a big move forward this season.

Beilein said Michigan is helping four key underclassmen begin looking at their NBA prospects — junior Tim Hardaway, sophomore Trey Burke and freshmen Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson.

Hardaway said the season is "a stepping stone for what Coach Beilein's program is going to be all about."

Burke said after the game: "The respect I have for Coach Beilein is at an all-time high and it will always be. Throughout my college career, throughout whatever my opportunities are after college, he's just the guy that you'll respect, not only on the court but off the court. He's going to help you grow up as a man."

Rice update: A Robert Morris internal investigation into former coach Mike Rice found no evidence of "coaches against player" brawls alleged by a former Rutgers employee, though a former Colonial contacted by the school said Rice used gay slurs several times and shoved a player during a halftime. Rice coached at the suburban Pittsburgh school from 2007-10. Rutgers fired him last week for physically and emotionally abusing players.

Comings and goings: Indiana junior guard Victor Oladipo, a first-team All-American, will enter the NBA draft. Projected as a top-six pick, he averaged 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds. If sophomore center Cody Zeller, who is expected to decide this week, also leaves, IU will lose four starters (Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford are the others). … Kansas guard Ben McLemore will enter the draft as a likely lottery pick. The second-team All-American broke Danny Manning's school freshman scoring record by averaging nearly 16 points. The Jayhawks have to replace all their starters; the others were seniors. … The father of Russ Smith says the Louisville junior guard will enter the draft. Russ Smith Sr. said the Cardinals' leading scorer "did it all." … LSU forward Johnny O'Bryant, a second-team All-SEC selection, will return for his junior season. … Providence freshman guard Ricky Ledo will enter the draft. He was academically ineligible to play, but scouts were impressed enough by what he did in practices and workouts with the team that he is a possible first-round pick.

Duke: Senior forward Ryan Kelly will be out 12 weeks after right-foot surgery. He was injured Jan. 8 and missed 13 games. Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Kelly "showed amazing courage" in playing through the injury late in the season. Krzyzewski expects him to fully recover and pursue an NBA career.

Lipscomb: Scott Sanderson, son of former Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson, resigned after 14 seasons. He was 222-201.

Wake Forest: Former player Randolph Childress was promoted from director of player development to assistant coach.

Louisville's NCAA parties turn rowdy 04/09/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:47pm]

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