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Chapel Hill Left Blue After Carolina Loss

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Some Franklin Street fans kept their spirits up despite the loss.
INDIANAPOLIS & CHAPEL HILL — It was an abrupt end to amagical season which saw Carolina start 0-3 in the ACC and conclude on a16-1 tear. Thatone loss came last night in the NCAA Final Four to Arizona, the team towhich the Tar Heels tumbled in the first game of the season.

Some Carolina fans gathered in Franklin Street bars and restaurants hoursbefore Saturday's game in hopes of celebrating a victory with otherfaithful fans. Others went all the way to Indianapolis to cheer the TarHeels along.

But after the game, Carolina fans trickled out of the RCA Dome, trying toaccentuate the positive.

"That's OK, the Heels will be back, we'll be back. Don't worry about itTar Heel fans, we'll be back. We'll get 'em," said UNC supporter Steve Jones from Wake Forest.

Iowa Tar Heel fan Fred Moore said he felt sad for the team, but thoughttheygaveit their all.

"Everybody gave them up for dead in January and they came back and won thetournament and won the Eastern Regional and went to the Final Four. Imean, I'm disappointed for them but I'm not disappointed in them," hesaid.

Some dejected fans made money though by selling their tickets to thechampionship game. But most of the fans couldn't go home early even ifthey wanted to do so. They had paid for their hotel rooms and airfare withthe anticipation of a Tar Heel victory.

In Chapel Hill it was much the same scene after the game as fans slowlyleft the bars and restaurants where they had watched the game. Final Fourfever started to fade away as the fans headed home, but a few die hardfans stuck around Franklin Street and offered a few words of optimism.

"The Heels are good," said Randy Wells. "They shouldn't have lost againstArizona, but that's how it happens."

The hundreds of police who were on standby for a victory had an easy nightin Chapel Hill. The only signs of a party were a few strands of bluecrepe paper left dangling from the trees.

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