We went to Pauly Pavillion to watch the NCAA championship game between UCLA and Florida last night. It was being broadcasted from Indianapolis, Indiana. They setup movie theater size screens on all four sides of Pauly. Before the game, the crowd, which was in the thousands, was totally energized, screaming in response to any mention of UCLA on the pre-game show. It was exactly the reason I went to watch the game there - to be part of the energy and to witness the party afterward if UCLA were to win.
After the first minute of the game as UCLA started to lose the lead for good, the crowd mellowed out. It was a bummer to have gathered with so many excited Bruins only to watch UCLA get beat hard. The guy who announces at the home games was there, serving as an emcee. The band and a few cheerleaders were also there.
I remember well the night UCLA won in 1995. I watched the game with a bunch of friends in Ackerman Grand Ball Room. After the win, the crowd of students poured out of Ackerman and made their way into Westwood. Near the fraternities, people were pouring beer all over each other in the middle of the street. In the heart of Westwood, people were climbing traffic lights and movie theaters and on Broxton, some people even tipped over a Kiss-FM van. Eventually the cops came with rubber bullets to disperse the crowds. It was an exciting night. I was really hoping to relive that night again, but it didn't work out. Well, hopefully this year was the start of a long run of successful seasons for UCLA. Go Bruins!