Spartans loss leads to unrest, arrests

Once again, rowdy Michigan State fans take to the streets after a tournament game.

Associated Press
Published April 4, 2005

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Police in riot gear dispersed rowdy Michigan State fans who poured into the streets after their team's loss in the Final Four, resulting in more than 60 arrests.

Most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct, police said Sunday.

Fans gathered downtown and outside nearby apartment complexes after a 87-71 loss to North Carolina on Saturday.

The community had been in a festive mood since its men's and women's team reached the Final Four.

At a news conference Sunday, authorities described the crowds as tamer than in past years.

"If you look at where we'd been and where we are (now), we have made considerable progress," Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon said. "There are a lot of things that didn't happen."

In 1999, after Michigan State lost to Duke in the semifinals, more than 10,000 people ran through downtown East Lansing, overturning cars, setting fires and smashing storefronts. Police responded with tear gas and arrested 132, including 71 Michigan State students.

In 2000, the atmosphere was joyous but peaceful in a large celebration on campus and in downtown East Lansing for the men's national title.

Eighteen people were arrested after a disturbance during the 2003 tournament.