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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

How college campuses reacted to Osama bin Laden’s death

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

Many of today's college kids were still in elementary school the day the Twin Towers fell 10 years ago, yet that didn't prevent them from appreciating the significance of the U.S. at last bringing the mastermind of those attacks to justice.

Students on college campuses throughout the nation celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden on Sunday night with more passion and fervor than they would a Final Four berth or a BCS national championship.

Even though this space is typically devoted entirely to college basketball, it seems worthwhile on a night as historic as this to break from that for one post. As a result, here are a collection of images and videos from prominent U.S. colleges in the immediate aftermath of bin Laden's death.

1. Penn State: A crowd of about 5,000 Penn State students flooded the Beaver Canyon area of downtown State College, waving American flags, shooting off fireworks and throwing confetti and toilet paper into the air. The above video provides a sense of just how big the celebration was, as does this aerial photo shot by a Penn State student. {YSP:MORE}

2. Ohio State: Normally Ohio State students only jump into Mirror Lake at midnight on the Thursday prior to the annual football game against rival Michigan, but the Buckeyes apparently thought this occasion was worthy of a similar celebration. The video above offers a view of the revelry including a U-S-A chant from dozens of students in the lake. There's also an artsy view of the gathering here from this spectacular photo.

3. West Virginia: It wouldn't be a celebration in Morgantown without a couch ablaze in the middle of a street. Hundreds of West Virginia students gathered around the makeshift bonfire, waved American flags and pinwheels, and delivered a heartfelt rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.

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Boston College

4. Boston College: Credit these Boston College students for finding the best possible place to sing the national anthem. According to the person who posted the YouTube clip, the students broke into the lobby of a campus library via an emergency exit about an hour after President Obama delivered his speech.

5. Iowa State: Just because Monday marks the start of finals week at Iowa State, it didn't prevent students from blowing off some steam. Thousands attended a mass celebration which concluded at the Gates of Jack Trice Stadium amid U-S-A chants, patriotic songs and shouts of "Na-Na-Na Hey Hey Goodbye."

6. Illinois State: It was a chilly 40 degrees in Central Illinois on Sunday night, but Illinois State students still poured into the quad for a patriotic celebration. The U-S-A chants and patriotic songs are plentiful in this video, but the highlight is definitely the shirtless student wearing the American flag as a cape trying to climb a pole as his peers cheered him on.

7. Maryland: Who says Maryland students only riot for victories over Duke? The Terps were out in full force on Sunday night as well. And just so West Virginia students don't think they're being singled out, yes, Maryland students also have a penchant for burning things in the middle of the street.

8. Army: Is there any other way to end a list like this than with the scene from West Point? Toting American flags and glow sticks, the cadets sing a particularly moving version of the Star-Spangled Banner and break into a round of U-S-A chants.

Other images worth checking out: The scene at Missouri's Greek row, Part I and Part II ... UMass throws one heck of a patriotic riot ...  LSU students flood campus ... The U.S. Naval Academy celebrates news of bin Laden's death ... Maryland students sing God Bless America ... Binghamton students belt out the national anthem ... Delaware students close down an intersection.

Thanks to ESPN's Scott Van Pelt and's Richard Deitsch for tweeting links to some of the above photos and videos.

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