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"Blarney Blowout" arrests at University of Massachusetts

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) -- A pre-St. Patrick's Day celebration near the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts spiraled out of control, pitting police in riot gear against thousands of drunken and unruly revelers at the annual "Blarney Blowout."

Officials said early Sunday there were 73 arrests and four officers were injured in the clashes that included some students throwing beer bottles, cans and snowballs.

Amherst police said authorities spent most of the day Saturday attempting to disperse several large gathering around the UMass campus for the party traditionally held the Saturday before spring break. The partying carried through Saturday evening into early Sunday.

Amherst Police Capt. Jennifer Gundersen has called the partying "extremely disturbing and unsafe."

UMass denounced the "unruly behavior." A spokesman says students who were arrested will be reviewed under the school's code of conduct and that sanctions could include suspension or expulsion.