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Updated: 3:33 a.m. Friday, March 28, 2014 | Posted: 7:02 p.m. Thursday, March 27, 2014

UD victory give students another reason to party

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Students gather at UD photo

Students gather at the University of Dayton campus. Photo by Jacob Rosen via Twitter

flyers win photo
LISA POWELL / STAFF

University of Dayton graduate students Chenyu Ji and Xulong Tang celebrate the Flyers victory.

UD FLYERS WIN photo
LISA POWELL / STAFF

University of Dayton students cheer for their team during a student watch party Thursday at UD Arena.

MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF photo
MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF

By Breaking News Staff

DAYTON —

Traveling to Memphis wasn't an option for Abdussamad Feyzullayev. He had a calculus exam this morning and an English paper to finish.

But the 19-year-old University of Dayton freshman wasn't about to watch the Sweet 16 matchup with his Flyers at home on the couch. He said his TV screen is too small, and the game too big for that.

And so Feyzullayev slipped on a red dress shirt, red tie and red corduroy jacket and headed to the largest and liveliest watch party in town.

He and about 600 of his fellow students packed into UD Arena on Thursday night to watch a telecast of their beloved Flyers write another incredible chapter of the Cinderella story that has captivated the nation.

"Unfortunately, I can't drive down to Memphis, but at least our school got these two big TVs for us," he said. "It's just amazing to be here, celebrating with friends, rather than at home with the TV, pillow and box of Ramen Noodles."

UD Arena was rocking long before the game tipped off, and it only got louder and more frenzied as students watched their team make history on two giant screens.

The crowd roared when junior guard Jordan Sibert drained another three-pointer. Fans whistled and clapped when Stanford players missed free throws. They booed when the broadcast cut to the Stanford Tree mascot or the university's famous alums, including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

They yelled "timber" as Stanford big man Dwight Powell fell to the floor after unsuccessfully driving to the lane.

Keshia Barker, 23, a UD senior, spent most of the first half tightly squeezing a white Flyer towel as the teams traded baskets.

But when UD started to pull away late in the second half, she was on her feet, fist pumping and shouting. Barker said the UD student body is tight-knit, and Flyer pride runs deep.

"We are a community at UD, and just being together with everyone and knowing we're all here for the same reason is amazing," she said.

UD pride could be heard in the chants and seen in the whirling towels.

"We are UD," the students yelled with less than one minute remaining. Few yelled louder than Ryan Phillips.

Phillips, 20, is a sophomore and incoming president of Red Scare, the official cheering section of UD athletics.

As time expired, Phillips hugged his friends and raised his arms victoriously.

"This is unreal. … We were cheering as loud as the crowd was there, and we are like 500 to 600 miles away," he said. "We are going nuts and this shows Red Scare is the best student section in the country, we have the best fans in the country and we're going to prove we are the best damn basketball team in the country."

The game ended, but the elation continued to build.

Music blasted over the speaker system, and students began jumping up and down in unison. They threw their towels in the air.

The students danced and sang along to the song, "Timber," by the artist Ke$ha.

Some students snapped photographs and took video of the celebration with their cell phones, obviously wanting evidence that they witnessed a moment that was too big to miss.

After the game, UD students flooded the streets surrounding the campus to celebrate. While some bottles and cans were thrown at police and other students, especially on Kiefaber Street, UD police and officers from at least three other jurisdictions were able to disperse the crowds, as they moved towards Brown Street.

Emergency crews responded to a roof collapse on a porch along Kiefaber Street, though there were no details about injuries.

Dayton police said 28 arrests were made on campus. Eleven of those arrests were by 11 p.m. Thursday, according to Maj. Larry Dickey.

Via @RepMikeTurner

Via @DaytonFlyers

Via @JoshMandelOhio

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