CHAPEL HILL, NC – A Carolina blue sky hangs over Chapel Hill Tuesday as Tar Heels’ fans celebrate the “Redeem Team.”
On Monday night, the UNC Tarheels defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65 to win the 2017 NCAA National Championship.
It was a moment that UNC fans have been waiting for ever since the Tar Heels lost to Villanova in the 2016 finals on a buzzer beater.
Now, the road to redemption is finally complete.
Immediately after UNC won the game on Monday night -- the party was on in Chapel Hill.
Police estimate over 50,000 people rushed Franklin Street.
On Tuesday, that party was still going strong.
The streets and sidewalks on Franklin Street were packed with people wearing their new championship gear!
"It was sweet enough to even get in the school here and then to be here for two final fours and a championship is a dream come true," said Kate Fleming, a senior at UNC.
Students say winning the championship this year is extra special, considering the way UNC came so close just one year ago.
“We are seniors so last year hurt pretty bad,” said Alex Hoffman. “I just can't believe it right now actually. It's unbelievable.”
“I think last year knowing how we got so close, it's redemption baby,” said Abby Gay. “We were so close last year and now being able to experience this is something we could never ever dreamed of.”
“I'm really happy for the players. They worked so hard all year,” said Justin Hinshaw. “They rebounded after that loss in the championship and they gave us the best thing we could've asked for.”
“The fact that we have that memory is just incredible,” said Zach Yrgimay. “I love it so much.”
On Tuesday night, the men’s basketball team will be welcomed home by thousands of screaming fans at the Dean E. Smith Center.
UNC has won a total of six NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championships.
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