Breaking News:

The Dagger

Police blast Arizona students with pepper balls and pepper spray after postgame 'riot'

Jay Busbee
The Dagger

After Arizona lost a tense, thrilling matchup to Wisconsin in the NCAA Elite Eight, students in Tucson took to the streets to vent their rage and frustration. It did not go well, with police and students clashing in ugly demonstrations. There were no injuries, but more than a dozen people were arrested.

Police had gathered more than an hour before the end of the game in anticipation of a student presence win or lose, having seen similar spontaneous outbreaks of celebration in other college towns earlier in the tournament.

According to witnesses, the gathering began peacefully, with students taking pictures, but turned ugly as students began directly confronting police officers. The Twitter timeline of the Daily Wildcat, Arizona's student newspaper, features a minute-by-minute update of the event. Selected tweets are below:

Here's one particularly stark image:

According to Tucson police, students threw beer bottles and firecrackers at officers and their vehicles. During the riots, 15 people were arrested, specifically those who were advancing on officers, with one of those being sent to Pima County jail. The others were released. There were no injuries reported.

While the riots were serious, this wasn't exactly a political demonstration, despite what some of the students wanted to believe. Proof comes in part with this ridiculous riot selfie, via Deadspin:

Not exactly Tiananmen Square, is it?


Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter.

Win cash prizes, pick a fantasy roster for just one day, join in minutes!

Learn how to play

Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
NBA $15K Tournament [$2K to 1st] 1030/3410 $5 $15000 Today 7:30 PM Enter
NHL $2K Tournament [$200 to 1st] 128/454 $5 $2000 Today 7:00 PM Enter
NFL $10K Tournament [$1K to 1st] (Mon to Thu) 1003/2272 $5 $10000 Today 8:30 PM Enter
View Comments (527)