LEXINGTON, KY (WAVE) – Big Blue Madness took over Lexington on Friday to welcome the start of the college basketball season.
Fans of the Kentucky Wildcats, ranked No. 1 in the preseason polls, came from all over the state to see the scrimmage.
For some, it's a tradition. For others, it was their first time being among more than 23,000 fans at Rupp Arena.
"I get to scratch it off my bucket list," said Andre Brown of Lexington. "As long as I've been a fan, I've always wanted to see them in person, and I have never seen then in person."
Fans camped out for hours waiting for tickets when they went on sale in early October. Tickets sold out within 30 minutes, the university said.
"We camped out -- we did what we had to do," said Mark Gay, who's been coming to the event for years. "It's tradition."
Fans started arriving at the arena by mid-afternoon Friday, even though the event didn't start until 7:30 p.m.
Many wore blue, and some got creative with their outfits. One young fan wore a shirt signed by Coach John Calipari and many of the players.
Some drove hours to watch the scrimmage.
"I've driven to New York before to watch them, so 3 hours isn't so bad," said Derek Grant of Owensboro.
Many fans said they had expectations of another national championship for the Wildcats, although some said the biggest concern would be the young players coming together as a team.
"It's always an unknown factor when you have freshmen coming in and playing, but (Calipari) gets the best talent in the country and gets them to play together well," Grant said. "So, we're expecting big things out of them."
"We're just ready to bring home another title," Murray said. "You can't live here and not bleed blue. Football don't matter. We're a basketball nation."
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