LEXINGTON, KY (WAVE) - The University of Louisville Cardinals will be dancing soon as the number one overall seed begins play in the NCAA tourney Thursday. Wednesday's open practice before the big game brought out thousands of fans to Lexington's Rupp Arena who live outside the 'Ville.
Seeing Coach Rick Pitino and company up close and personal is a thrill for Louisville fans who live in Lexington where sometimes it's hard to be a Cardinal backer. Rodney Johnson of Lexington is one of those fans.
"Not this year," said a laughing Johnson of the Cardinals winning ways. "It's not this year!"
It's also a beautiful thing for UofL fan Zach Rose, who happens to be a University of Kentucky student.
"It's a new journey every single day," said Rose of his sometimes strange predicament, "but I'll stay true to the place where I'm from."
Rose, a Male High grad, has seats in the rafters for the game. He's better off than Chris Washington and Kevin Thompson. The friends and Card fans who happen to live in Lexington tried to get tickets from us.
"Are you going to help us out?" they laughed. "That's why we called you all over here."
Joe Waters of Versailles had never seen the Cards live before.
"I was surprised how tall Gorgui Dieng was in person," Waters told us. "When you only see them on TV you have a certain size in your head."
Frankfort Cards fan Ben Jeffries told WAVE 3,
"Our fan base is spread throughout the whole state," said Ben Jeffries, a Cards fan from Frankfort, "and last year UK got to play at the KFC Yum! Center, so this is our opportunity to show them we can get a lot of fans in this area."
That's true of Chloe Ralston and her mom who live in Stanford, Kentucky. The duo has been on cloud nine since the Big East Tourney and rubbing it in to the men in the family - the Kentucky Fans.
"I was going around saying to people after the Big East Tournament Louisville won, Louisville won," Chloe told us.
Chloe's little brother, Colton, wasn't on board even though he was wearing Cardinal red.
"My mom made me, " he said.
The problem for the family is that mom Haley has game tickets and she's taking dad Steve instead of her daughter.
"She was upset," Haley said, "because she and I are the Cardinal fans in our household and they are the Kentucky fans, but I didn't want a divorce, so I think I better take my husband."
Her husband is promising to cheer on the Cards when they take on North Carolina A&T.