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Monday, March 28, 2011

UPDATE: VCU to welcome team home at midnight

Tonight, VCU will welcome the Rams' men's basketball team home at the Siegel Center.
The Siegel Center will open its doors at midnight. According to VCU, the welcome back celebration will be brief and is open to the public. The team is expected to arrive between 1:15 a.m. and 2:30 a.m.
U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, offered his congratulations to the Rams, saying in a statement: "Congratulations to the VCU Rams for their amazing victory over the Kansas Jayhawks. This is one of the biggest victories in tournament history and Coach Shaka Smart and his players deserve tremendous credit for their inspiring Cinderella run. It's great for the Commonwealth to be represented in the Final Four in Houston. Go Rams!"

From earlier reports
Streets in downtown Richmond around Virginia Commonwealth University's Monroe Campus are flooded with students and fans headed toward Monroe Park for a postgame celebration.
Thousands of gleeful VCU fans -- mostly students --  are jamming Broad Street, just west of Belvidere, cheering on the 11th-seeded Rams for achieving what once seemed the impossible -- taking down No. 1 seed Kansas to earn a berth in the NCAA men's Final Four.  
Fans standing on top of storefronts and atop parked vans are waving flags, signs and pom-poms in an exuberant tribute. Fans are improvising ways to make noise -- one banged on a pot.
Morris Street and Floyd Avenue are flooded with people headed toward the VCU campus, and Broad Street east from Hancock is blocked and inaccessible to traffic as people move toward Monroe Park.
Richmond police are monitoring the procession.
At the Jefferson Hotel, in the midst of a birthday celebration/afternoon tea, groups of women left their tables to gather around a large-screen TV at the bar to watch VCU's historic win.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell offered his congratulations, saying, "Virginians are celebrating their victory all across the commonwealth.  VCU is a great university with a well-deserved reputation for academic and athletic excellence.  We all look forward to cheering them on in the Final Four next weekend. I know they’ve got two more big wins left in them. Head Coach Shaka Smart and this group of talented student athletes are doing a tremendous job representing their school and community. Go Rams!”
(This has been a breaking news update; check back for more details as they become available.)

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