Reporting Frank Vascellaro
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s one of the oldest buildings in college basketball, but Williams Arena has never seen a scene quite like Tuesday night.
Students stormed the court after one of the biggest victories in school history, a 4-point win over No. 1 Indiana.
Wednesday, WCCO talked to students who took part in the celebration from all angles.
After a big game by center Trevor Mbakwe and a big dunk by guard Austin Hollins, the student section got ready for history and the band got out of the way.
“A minute to the end of the game and all the students were starting to line up in the aisle — make sure we weren’t trampled,” said junior David Weida.
“They weren’t holding me back. We were all getting on there, one big party,” said freshman Joe Matheson.
They rushed the court to join the players and then it seemed like everybody had to share their video. After all, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“It’s something you see on TV all the time,” said Mbakwe. “You always want the opportunity, especially in college and we finally got it.”
“It’s indescribable. It’s so hot in there, but at the same time it was exciting,” added Hollins.
It was a wave of excitement that reached across campus, to students watching on TV.
“It was awesome. Something I won’t forget for a long time,” said freshman Will Sandeen.
It also reached those following along with their cellphones at night class.
“We had to keep refreshing the phone. So, once the final score happened … we just put our hands up in the air and we told the teacher, ‘can we make an announcement? We just beat the No. 1 team in men’s basketball.’ We were truly excited,” said freshman Lindsey Lawmaster.
This was the fourth time the Gophers have beaten a No. 1 team, but the fans have never stormed the court before. Also, although Tubby Smith won a national championship, the coach says he’s never been part of one either.