LEXIGTON, KY – (WKYT) It was a move born out of necessity, but it was such a success it will continue on. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Board of Control voting today to play the Boys and Girls Sweet 16 Semi-Finals on Saturday and move the Championship Games to Sunday.
This happened for the first time in tournament history this year because of a scheduling issue with UK and national television. Many worried that a Sunday final would hurt attendance, but fans turned out in record numbers.
In March, the tournament began as normal with four games each on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Then on Saturday, UK closed out the regular season with a noon home game against Florida. That night, in the Sweet Sixteen Semi-Finals, a crowd of 20,172 turned out to see Madison Central-Hopkinsville and Ballard-Montgomery County."
But Sunday was the real question mark and that afternoon, the first ever Sunday final brought 17,351 fans back to Rupp Arena to see Madison Central's comeback win against Ballard. It was the largest championship-game crowd since 2009. This new format will also be in place for the Houchens Industries Girls Sweet Sixteen for the first time beginning in 2014.