CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — A boisterous, joyous crowd welcomed the 2017 NCAA Champion UNC men’s basketball team back to the Smith Center on Tuesday evening.
It was the Dean Dome’s third fan fest celebration in four days.
More than 9,000 people watched the game live inside the Dean Dome and an estimated 55,000 rushed Franklin Street just moments after the Tar Heels claimed victory over the Bulldogs.
Thousands were in attendance at the Dean Smith Center Tuesday to see the team take the stage with the national championship trophy. Each player wore a championship hat with a piece of the net, that was cut down following the win, tied to the back.
Some of the star players such as Justin Jackson, Joel Berry, Kennedy Meeks and head coach Roy Williams took turns addressing the fans and thanking them for their support.
Williams picked up his third national championship of his career passing his mentor and former Tar Heel coach, Dean Smith.
Williams is now in a three-way tie for fourth place for the most national championships won by a coach in NCAA history.
Earlier, as the team came from the airport, fans lined up to watch as the team returned from Phoenix and headed to the Dean Dome.
Chapel Hill Sportswear was packed Tuesday afternoon as people bought hats, T-shirts and anything else they could nab to commemorate the title win.
“I got three shirts for me, and then three for my dad,” said UNC junior Cayla Culbreth.
The store opened Monday night after the game and got more shipments throughout Tuesday to keep up with demand.
Across the street, the line was out the door with people also trying to get copies of the Daily Tar Heel — with the banner headline “Redemption.”
Kirsten Wiedbusch picked up hers after grabbing her cap and gown earlier.
She hoped during her senior year she would be here to witness history.
“It was just such a huge, beautiful tie-in,” Wiedbusch said.
In addition to clothing, fans came to pick up prints of photos from Monday night when everyone rushed Franklin Street.
It was a moment some students said they’d been looking forward to most of their lives.
–– WNCT contributed to this report