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Fans welcome Baylor Bears back to Waco after historic win against Gonzaga

Revelers took to the streets to celebrate the win, chanting "Baylor" over and over.
Credit: AP
Baylor students celebrate their NCAA National Championship win over Gonzaga while viewing the college men's basketball game on a large monitor at McLane Stadium, Monday, April 5, 2021, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

Updated at 2:48 a.m. with information from Waco's fire chief.

Fans will gather to welcome back the Baylor Bears as they return from Indianapolis after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the NCAA men's basketball national championship.

The team landed around 2:15 p.m. and upon exiting the plane was given a key to the city. 

Celebrations quickly broke out in Waco late Monday night as it became clear that the Bears would have a historic win on their hands-- bringing home their first National Championship title. 

Baylor took an early lead against Gonzaga, which came into the game undefeated, and never gave it up, adding another notch to their accomplishments as they closed out March Madness with a bang. 

And fans in Waco brought that energy into the streets. 

First, students watching the game in McLane Stadium rushed the field to celebrate as the final ten seconds ticked away in the game and it was clear the Bears had won. 

Then, the couch burning began.

For those unfamiliar with Baylor traditions, it's a "common celebration" for students at the university to set couches on fire in the streets of Waco, Ofc. Garen Bynum with the city's police force explained. 

Revelers took to the streets to celebrate the win, chanting "Baylor" over and over.

Waco's fire department was on hand to keep the situation contained. Fire Chief Gregory Summers told WFAA there were a total of 32 "couch/trash/barricade fire calls" the department responded to after the team's win, and a six-car accident just outside of McLane Stadium from the watch party.  

Fireworks were set off from the street too, as Bears fans exuberantly celebrated the historic win from Waco. Police were also monitoring the situation as revelry went on through the night. 

It was a night many Baylor fans likely won't soon forget.