LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's the night fans in Kentuckiana have been waiting for - the start of basketball season as Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky all hit the hardwood in historic fashion Thursday night during exhibition games.
Fans of the three area schools are excited about pre-season polls.
Even though they have all been ranked high in the top 10 throughout the years, this is the first time that the three schools are pre-season 1, 2, 3 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Cards fan Charles Dusel said, "I think it's going to be a wonderful season down here."
Following up a trip to the Final Four, University of Louisville fans made their way back to the KFC Yum! Center in droves for a brand new season with Coach Rick Pitino and the Cards.
Cards fan Angela Davenport said, "They did so well last year, if they can repeat that, it's a great season."
Even though Thursday's exhibition against Pikeville won't count in the win loss column, there's reason for all the hoopla.
Associated Press pre-season rankings have the Cards second only to Tom Crean's number one ranked Hoosiers and some IU fans are already nervous about being at the top. "It makes me anxious almost, I hope we can live up to it," said one IU student waiting to get into the game.
The national spotlight shines bright on Kentuckiana as the Cards are parked just one spot up from the young, talented and third ranked defending national champs, the Kentucky Wildcats.
Cards Fan Kyle Twomey said, "It's a great thing, all the schools are within 100 miles of each other, it's a triangle and all the talent you have with Indiana, Kentucky and Louisville and it's just through the roof," Twomey continued, " I know when we play UK here December 29, this place is going to be rockin', it's going be off the charts."
The early predictions have fans of all three schools full of pride saying forget the ACC as Indiana, Louisville and Kentucky are pre-season 1, 2, 3!
"It's amazing for the area, "Cards fan Kim Gunn told us, "I think finally we're going to get the recognition we deserve because this is a basketball area."
Cards fans are hoping the new contract extension for Coach Pitino will continue to help with recruiting.