Celebrating the win or wallowing in defeat, the NCAA tournament has spawned an ever increasing trend of postgame property damage. Most recently, it was the 2014 NCAA tournament match between UK vs UConn, in which UK lost.
Following Monday night’s game, videos and photos of the rampage which transpired thereafter appeared on social media. In the clips, fans can be seen unabashedly lashing out their frustration and or glee on cars, street lights, and of course the famed burning of the couches.
The fans in Storrs, Connecticut were unsurprisingly wild when their UConn Huskies defeated the Kentucky Wildcats to win the 2014 Men’s Basketball National Championship Monday night. However, the street-partiers were so spirited campus police arrested 30 individuals by 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, says the Huffington Post.
UConn students and fans reveled in their 2014 NCAA tournament national championship win by setting furniture on fire, taking out streetlamps, and destroying vehicles in their wake.
After Kentucky’s 60-54 loss to Connecticut, Lexington too became grounds for riots and vandalism. Despite a chilly, rain-soaked night, fans living in the home of the UK Wildcats set jerseys and couches ablaze. Oddly, couch burning is often performed when the CATS are winning.
There were also several reports of fights and bottle throwing.
These fires and other acts of vandalism resulted in several injuries and arrests. Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for the city, said 19 couch fires were lit overnight; there were 23 injuries, most of them minor and treated at the scene; and at least 31 arrests were made.
Teargas was deployed by police in order to control and disperse unruly fans.
When UK beat Louisville the weekend before, at 74 to 69, thousands of people flooded UK campus. As many as 25 fires, yes some of them couch fires, were set in celebration of that victory.
The riots surrounding UK’s loss to UConn was nothing in comparison to the 1996 win, explains several local reports. Then, when crowds took to the streets after UK won the national championship against Syracuse, cars were crushed; police officers and bystanders were hit with rocks and bottles; and a television news van was overturned and set ablaze.
Those who were later found to be responsible in the 1996 postgame property damage were fined and served time in jail or had to commit to several hundred hours of community service.
With cellphone/smartphone video and social media being more prolifically used, it is likely many of the perpetrators will be easily identified by officials.
Speaking of social media, Facebook’s stats related to the 2014 NCAA Tournament revealed that from March 16 to April 7, the social network saw a total of 46 million posts across 15.3 million users.
[Photo Credit: FlyingLotus1983]