Sports

UConn Basketball Teams Celebrate National Titles In Hartford

UConn's Shabazz Napier celebrates on the court after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in the NCAA championship game on April 7, 2014. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

UConn’s Shabazz Napier celebrates on the court after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in the NCAA championship game on April 7, 2014. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The University of Connecticut men’s and women’s basketball teams hit the streets of Hartford in a parade celebrating their national championships.

The parade  kicked off at the state Capitol at 4 p.m. Sunday and wound its way through the downtown area before returning to the Capitol for a “victory rally.”

Police described the outpouring as the largest event anyone could remember in the city of Hartford _ bigger than the St. Patrick’s Day parade, bigger than the 2004 UConn basketball celebration.

“Next to having my children and marrying my wife, this is the greatest moment of my life,” said UConn alumnus Brian Fitzgerald of Glastonbury as he cheered the team.

The UConn men beat Kentucky for the national title last Monday night, while the women’s team defeated Notre Dame for its record-breaking ninth championship Tuesday night.

UConn is the only school to win both the men’s and women’s Division I basketball championships in the same year, a feat they also accomplished in 2004.

Laura Soll, a spokeswoman for parade organizers, said that the degree of excitement over this year’s championships and ideal weather conditions forecast for Sunday were expected to boost attendance to levels seen 10 years ago when about 300,000 turned out to celebrate the last time both teams won national titles.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Connecticut businesses payed for Sunday’s festivities.

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