UK Hoops fans rally around team after first round win

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - For the first time in program history, Kentucky is playing host to the Women's NCAA tournament. The first and second rounds will be played at Memorial Coliseum.

This is something that many fans say they've been looking forward to for years.

"It's good coverage for the girls," says Judy O'Neill, a longtime UK Hoops fan. "They're finally getting some recognition, so I like that."

"I think it gives them a little bit of an advantage," says Jerry Ulery, a Wildcat fan. "I don't know that they need it, but it helps and I think they're going to do real well. We're real excited for them."

Fans trickled into the stands early, but by game time there was no doubt that Big Blue Nation had arrived.

"I've waited for this all week," says Kristy Drakeford, a UK alum. "I've been so excited because I've never been to an NCAA tournament, men's or women's, so it's just exciting that it was right here, local, and we didn't have to go very far to get here."

Win or lose, UK Hoops fans seemed to be proud of how far the team had already come. But with high hopes before the game had even started, many were already making plans for the next round.

O'Neill says, "We have our tickets. Yes, we'll be here. We're even thinking if they get as far as Louisville we might go there, since it's so close. You know, you hardly ever get to go because they're always so far away. So this is great."

"I definitely think they have a real good shot at going to the final four this year," Drakeford says. "Hopefully they can get that far and it would be awesome if they bring home the trophy."

The Cats defeated Wright State, 106 to 60, and now move onto the second round of the NCAA tournament. UK Athletics says the team set new records for points and margin of victory.

UK Hoops will play in the second round on Monday at Memorial Coliseum. That game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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