LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - UK fans who couldn't be in St. Louis cheered on the Cats from right here in Lexington. And Lexington Police were close by with an eye on their celebrations.
Big Blue Nation is known for being dedicated and even Coach Cal has called UK fans crazy. So Lexington Police set up shop in trouble spots, hoping their presence would deflect illegal activity following UK's advancement to the Sweet 16 after beating Wichita State. We all know UK fans can be a bit rowdy.
It's called preventative patrolling, and it must have worked because police were here in the University Avenue and State Street area where they usually have problems.
"We encourage celebrating. We're in a college town! And with UK basketball, we know that year after year we'll probably gonna have a lot of celebrations," said Lt. Eddie Hart, with the Lexington Division of Police. "We just encourage people not to damage other people's property."
Their strategy was to literally take matters into their own hands.
"If we observe any items that someone may think, 'Hey, that'd be something to set on fire,' we go ahead and remove it as quickly as we can," said Lt. Hart. "Unfortunately in the years past, couches and furniture and wood have been items that students think that they need to set on fire to celebrate. We have a zero tolerance stance on people who destroy other people's property or engage in activity that could endanger others while celebrating."
Back in 2012 was the last time we were up against the University of Louisville in the NCAA tournament, and things got out of hand.
"That's gonna be a big game with us playing the University of Louisville," said Lt. Hart. "We anticipate if the University of Kentucky wins that there would be probably a celebration, so we will be working this week to prepare for that."
Along with UK Police they plan to be ready for whatever.
"Just as Coach Cal has to get a game plan going, the Division of Lexington Police will have a game plan with UK, and we will be ready for Friday night," said Lt. Hart.
UK and the University of Louisville will face off Friday night in Indianapolis.