Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Jubilant Syracuse fans celebrate first title



By William Kates
The Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Words like "destiny" and "due" were thrown around by Syracuse fans who watched the NCAA championship on jumbo television screens inside the Carrier Dome on Monday night.

After the Orangemen defeated Kansas 81-78 for the first national title in school history, the jubilant crowd of 11,068 could finally shout the words they'd been waiting to deliver: "We're No. 1!"

PHOTO GALLERY
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Syracuse-Kansas national championship
The fans delighted at the smiles of star freshman Carmelo Anthony, who had 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Orangemen and was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.

"Can you believe it! Can you believe it! Carmelo couldn't be denied!" yelled Mike Sorvillo, a Syracuse sophomore from Long Island.

"It's been an exciting year. They played like a team of destiny," said Corinne Shutack, a junior from Philadelphia.

A spring snowstorm and subfreezing temperatures couldn't keep fans from gathering under the Carrier Dome's Teflon top. Dressed in orange and blue, they filled three levels of the arena. They began screaming with Syracuse's first basket and never let up.

Outside the arena, celebrations were energetic but orderly. On campus, the city's block-long entertainment district was packed with about 5,000 cheering fans. Some were swinging from trees, leading a chorus of chants. Police in riot gear stood nearby to keep everything under control.

After the game, a stream of fans emptied from the Carrier Dome, heading off to the center of campus and again chanting "We're No. 1!" Car horns could be heard honking everywhere while students emptied out of dorms and houses, adding to the moving mass of people.

Syracuse University spokesman Kevin Morrow said the school will host a tribute for the team Thursday night in the dome.

Keuka College students Dave Bove and Joe Petrosino and a dozen friends drove nearly 90 minutes to watch the game in the dome.

"We knew it would be a historic night, so we wanted to be with a lot of people," Bove said.

John McGivney of Fulton, N.Y., brought his four teenage sons Monday night. McGivney and his oldest son saw the Orangemen win the East region a week earlier in Albany.

"I was here in 1996 to watch Syracuse. I went home pretty depressed," McGivney said of that year's loss to Kentucky in the title game. "This is a much better feeling."




NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
Syracuse hangs on at the end
Daugherty: Orangemen win title with a smile
'Melo leads 'Cuse to title
The 'other' freshman does the damage early
Williams should take North Carolina job
Jubilant Syracuse fans celebrate first title
There's no position super frosh can't play

WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR
Geno vs. Pat with the national title at stake
Conlon important role player for UConn

OTHER COLLEGE HOOPS
Daugherty: One size doesn't fit all, NCAA
Prosser tops list of Pitt candidates

REDS
Reds to call up Guillen from Triple-A
Road stretch offers a needed respite
Reds notebook: Stopping HRs means throwing sinkers
Reds at Astros series preview

OTHER BASEBALL
Monday's games: Braves go back-to-back-to-back
Scoring, home runs up in first week of season
Strawberry being released from prison
MLB notebook: Pedro's $17.5M option exercised

BENGALS / NFL
Leftwich works out, visits 'Nati
Edwards wins comeback award

PREP SPORTS
Duncan area's top player
Monday's prep results
Prep sports schedules

GOLF
Love enters Masters on a roll
Rain can't wash away Martha & Co.

HOCKEY
Clones will play Toledo

NBA
Parish, Worthy head to Hall
Bulls GM Krause steps down because of health

PLAN YOUR DAY
Tuesday's sports on TV, radio