Broken hearts leave Siegel Center watch party

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Instead of a wild celebration, thousands of broken hearts filled Richmond's Broad Street.

Earlier, the mood and the atmosphere inside the Siegel Center seemed to change so quickly. The joy and excitement of tip-off was gone in just two hours when the final buzzer sounded.

The 1500 students who crammed inside for a watch party wore long faces and became nearly silent.

"I'm still really proud of the team. I mean, we made it to the Final Four. It's never happened before," said VCU student Abby Weddell.

As the students slowly filed out, there was an unusual vibe: One student gave a thumbs down, but was smiling. For almost everyone, this magical run to the Final Four was special no matter the outcome.

"Honestly, I'm just happy that they got this far. Even though we didn't win I was still, like, we got so far. Hey, we did a great job, and I'm really happy for them," said student Lauren Seubert.

Under the watchful eye of riot police, students left calmly, if not quietly.

"VCU!!!" one group screamed."

"It was hectic, man, it was hectic..." said another fan.

"I'm kinda happy to be on camera, but I still am sad," said student Ahmed Ali.

AHMED: "Don't you see a little tear?"
ANDY: "I don't."
AHMED: "You don't? Okay, okay I'ma fabricate one."

Whether it produces real tears, or not, the Final Four can be so cruel sometimes. Instead of being 40 minutes from a national title, VCU's Rams and their fans are now wondering what might have been, and what happens now.

"I'm a fan, will continue to be a fan, I love my Rams, and there's always next year," Weddell said.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.