UK fans show up in force in Louisville

Officially, UK’s Round of 32 win over Iowa State was played on a neutral court.


The Yum! Center was packed to back the Cats. The dominant color in the arena used to hosting red? Blue, overwhelmingly. Then green, for St. Patrick’s Day. Then yellow, for the opposing team.

At its loudest, the Yum! Center was as noisy, if not noisier, than Rupp Arena was at any time this year. Might some of that have been induced by the holiday beverages? Probably.

But man, was the place rocking.

“Everywhere we go, our fans follow us and give us a lot of support,” Terrence Jones said.

That included Wednesday’s 45-minute practice, which consisted solely of players standing in one spot and shooting jumpers. The entire lower bowl was filled — about 8,000 people, by an eye estimation.

It included UK’s opener against Western Kentucky, a rare state school playing a state school in the borders of that same state.

It included Murray State’s Round of 32 game against Marquette, when UK supporters were spurred on to cheer for the Racers as loud as the Murray State fans.

Louisville proved a good enough host site that multiple national media members clamored for the NCAA Tournament to return to the city in future years.

UK might not be able to play there every time.

But the Cats were there this year. And the Yum! Center crowd made sure you knew it.