LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Cardinals basketball fans had their first opportunity Thursday night to view the banners inside the Yum! Center, since the NCAA ordered the 2013 championship banner removed.
They were there to cheer on the women's team at home against Virginia.
Before the game, fans seemed more interested in finding their seats than peering up at the row of banners on the arena ceiling. But the change inside the KFC YUM! Center was obvious.
"I did look as soon as I came in to see if it was there. It is different," Cards fan Stephanie Richardson said.
"It's not fair," Fran White said. "It's not fair to the guys who played and won the title."
Some expressed sadness, others, bitterness. For most it was both a time look back and time to move on.
"Those memories will always be with us," Cards fan Terry Jones said. "I hate it that it had to come to this but at least we can finally have closure and move on."
Fans outside the arena felt the same way.
A replica of the Cards 2013 championship banner hangs over the facade of Taj, a bar on Market Street. Inside, a man standing on the bar led patrons in a loud chant of "C – A – R – D – S!"
"It's all about the Cards and all about the city and just having a good team," bar patron Michael Wickliffe said
"We support the fans of UofL," Mike Maloney said. "We support the citizens of our whole town. Celebrate the Cards."