Athens celebrates OU March Madness win — and laments loss

Hundreds of students set upon Court Street in Athens on Saturday night to celebrate the Ohio University victory over the reigning March Madness champion, the University of Virginia.

But the reaction on Monday evening uptown was significantly muted when the Ohio University Bobcats fell to Creighton by large margins.

Court Street was flooded with students on Saturday night, few of whom were wearing facial coverings, and many of whom were prepared to celebrate the victory, The Athens Messenger reported.

According to The Athens Messenger, Police eventually elected to block Court street off to vehicle traffic and allowed the crowd to continue unabated for a brief time.

Jack Pepper, Athens City/County Health Department administrator, warned students not to gather in large numbers again if the Ohio University men’s basketball team beats Creighton, the four seed, in Monday night’s basketball

“We are aware of the celebration that took place on Saturday night after the Men’s Bobcat NCAA tournament win and will be watching case counts very closely for the next three weeks,” Pepper said. “We are strongly encouraging that in the event of another Bobcat win that the community celebrates in a responsible way; large mass gatherings could set us back significantly in our pandemic recovery efforts.”

However, the reaction on Court and at uptown bars was not the same on Monday night, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Fans at Lucky’s Sports Bar were still cheering despite the loss, and after the defeat, the bar patrons stood up and clapped for their team, this reporter observed.

However, disappointed fans let out increasingly loud groans every time Creighton scored or a Bobcats ball hit the rim but didn’t fall through, The Dispatch reported.

By the end of the game, many fans were not looking like happy campers as OU lost by double-digit margins.

This reporter observed many fans on the streets after the game saying phrases such as “next year,” and “that was tough.”

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