Lack of tickets doesn't stop fans celebrating national champion - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Lack of tickets doesn't stop fans celebrating national champion Cardinals

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Alex Mayo Alex Mayo
Destry McAlister Destry McAlister
Mary and James Bartlett Mary and James Bartlett
John Wright John Wright
Cardinal fans pack the KFC Yum! Center plaza during the basketball celebration. Cardinal fans pack the KFC Yum! Center plaza during the basketball celebration.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Before and after the celebration the fans who couldn't get inside the KFC Yum! Center covered the plaza outside. They watched the whole event on the large video screen, then clambered for an autograph from their favorite players as they boarded the buses. It was definitely the party that no one wanted to end and fans hope it will not be another 27 years in the making.

As the Cardinal faithful gathered, some had to take a minute to really let this reality sink in.  

"It's absolutely crazy," said Alex Mayo, a UofL student. "I literally cannot, I soak it in every day." 

From the national runner-up UofL women to the national champion men, this season there is so much to celebrate.  

"This is awesome, unbelievable," said Destry McAlister. "I've been waiting 27 years." 

On Wednesday there was an undeniable strong pulse in Louisville, one that will continue to keep the Cardinal heart beating. 

"Even though we are the Cardiac Cards, we can pull it together in the end, so I'm very proud of them," said Mary Bartlett.  

James Bartlett has witnessed all three national championships.  

"I knew they were going all the way, so it wasn't no problem there," said Bartlett.  

Another Card for life, John Wright, said he knew he had to be here. The last time UofL won the championship in 1986 he was 19. Wright said the only Card fan missing on this day is his son DJ, who is serving in the Marines.

"I just want to tell him we miss him we love him," said Wright. 

As the party winded down, fans lined up hoping for a glimpse and an autograph from players on a team they will never forget.

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