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How Kansas Fans Celebrated Prior to Becoming 2022 NCAA Champions

How Kansas fans celebrated prior to becoming 2022 NCAA champions

Gabriel Johnson | @GabeJohnson57 

Byline: Kansas fans flooded Massachusetts street after winning the NCAA Championship. But the pregame atmosphere set the scene for a night Jayhawk fans won’t soon forget. 

As Kansas men’s basketball was crowned champions on Monday night, Jayhawk fans stormed Massachusetts street. While the post game celebration captured the attention of the nation, the pre game celebrations proved just as remarkable.

At around noon, Jayhawk fans began gathering on Mass st. for the game which didn’t tip-off until 8:20 p.m. Students and fans relished the opportunity to celebrate their team’s historic run.

“If you’re on any place in Mass st. you can just feel the energy” Kansas student Peter Junge said. 

“It’s been awesome,” Kansas alum Chris Sitek said. “With all the food and music and everything and bean bag tosses it’s just been great.”

Many businesses on Mass st. held activities outside for anyone to participate. Activities included bean bag tosses, music and performances by the Lawrence Busker Festival. 

The pregame offered a unique atmosphere, as many fans were eager to celebrate, but nervous that each game might be the last for the Jayhawks. 

Despite the tense feeling, fans were hopeful that Kansas could win its first championship since 2008. 

“It would mean everything to me,” Kansas student Sean Spencer said. “It’s my first year here so I’ve been a fan my whole life, so to actually be a part of this one would be insane.”

In addition to the long wait for its six championships, Kansas basketball was affected by the pandemic in 2020. The Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 heading into the tournament until the NCAA announced it would not have the tournament because of the rapid outbreak. 

“Winning the natty would be the highlight of being at KU,” Kansas student Katie Wagner said.  “We’ve had Covid for the past two years, so this is like the first March Madness we’ve had in so long.”

Luckily for Jayhawk fans, the celebration isn’t over. Kansas will host a championship parade on Sunday, April 10 at 2 p.m. The team will head down Mass st. before finishing the parade at Allen Fieldhouse.