Jubilant UNC fans welcome home national champs

April 5, 2017 GMT

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill welcomed home the national champion Tar Heels Tuesday evening with a party of thousands at the Dean E. Smith Center.

The team, 71-65 winners over Gonzaga on Monday night in the 2017 NCAA Championship men’s basketball championship, traveled by charter flight back from Arizona Tuesday afternoon.

After introductions, a montage video and a lot of cheering, a few players and head coach Roy Williams took to the microphone to offer their gratitude and insights.

“We’ve had good teams, really good teams and now we have the best team,” Williams said of his seniors. Williams added that he got a text from Michael Jordan Monday night that read, “You raised the ceiling to the roof.”

Not to be outdone, fan-favorite Theo Pinson went off script and grabbed the microphone. “They tried to not let me get the mic,” Pinson joked. “But I just want to thank everyone for supporting us. It’s been one hell of a year.”

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Doors opened at the Dean Dome at 5 p.m., and an estimated 10,000 fans, many clad in Tar Heel blue, waited patiently, entertained by a DJ and the band and watched the team’s arrival at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on the big screen.

About half an hour later, the team took the stage to the flash of cameras and the roar of the crowd.