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The Daily Tar Heel

Thousands rush Franklin Street in celebration of UNC's National Championship victory

3:51 a.m.: The Town of Chapel Hill estimated that 55,000 people rushed Franklin Street after UNC's men's basketball team defeated Gonzaga for the NCAA Championship.

Seven people were injured during the rush. Four of those seven suffered burns, the town said. No details on their conditions were available yet.

The street was cleaned and reopened to traffic at 2:09 a.m., the town said.

1:35 a.m.: After the final seconds on the game clock ticked away, thousands of UNC students and Chapel Hill residents prepared to rush Franklin Street.

Soon, fireworks, smoke and Tar Heel chants filled the air. 

Bailey Medley, a UNC first-year, said the championship game was much more intense than the UNC-Duke game. 

"There were like five seconds left and everyone was freaking out and everyone was jumping up and down. Our friends were crying. And then like we won and it was wild," she said. 

First-year Lydia Eisenbeis said the game was full of lots of sweat and lots of tears, but in the best way possible. 

Maggie Player, a UNC junior, watched the game at the Varsity Theater with her friend Madison Rex, also a junior. 

Player said the experience of rushing Franklin Street was amazing, but she was also very claustrophobic. 

Rex said the last seconds of the game were very nerve-wracking for her. 

"I thought for sure something crazy was going to happen and we were going to miss it by a little bit," she said. "Then, as soon as Joel made that free throw, I knew it was over. We won." 

Hriday Kemburu, a UNC senior, watched the game at Buns with his friends. He said the experience was surreal. 

"Senior year, it's like you can't do it better than that," he said. "This is the redemption year." 

University Editor Acy Jackson and City Editor Jane Little contributed reporting. 

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