Kentucky fans ready to rock n' roll in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WKYT) - Fans in Memphis are ready to watch Kentucky rock n' roll.

Memphis is playing host to the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 matchups for the South region of the NCAA tournament.

It's also a town that's familiar to Coach John Calipari. He was the head coach at the University of Memphis before coming to the University of Kentucky in 2009.

As with any game, the Big Blue Nation is expected to take over Memphis to support their team on Friday night. Beale Street is rolling out the red (or blue) carpet for fans. Jay Wells manages Silky O Sullivan's on Beale and he says his bar is ready for the fans.

"Just the city and the street and we are ready for this," Wells said. "College basketball is a special kind of crazy."

WKYT's Amber Philpott found a UK fan who lives in Memphis. He waited for more than an hour outside the team's hotel on Wednesday night just to get a glimpse of the Cats, especially De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk.

"It's pretty awesome, they are supposed to be pretty high draft picks, and they are some of my favorite players ..." Cole Emanuel said.

Kentucky fans got the opportunity to see the team practice inside FedExForum on Thursday.

"I'm excited because I get to see my favorite players play in my hometown and tomorrow they play in the tournament," said UK fan Ally Ware. "So it's gonna be cool to see them before and how they're getting prepared for this."

The UCLA Bruins also held practice. The Cats and Bruins will face off on Friday night at 9:40 in a Sweet 16 matchup.

Some UK fans spent Thursday evening having fun on Beale Street.

Anne Allen, Jane Spurlock, and Bonita Compton told us they travel together to watch the Cats play, and have been to four Final Fours.

"We all three share tickets to Rupp Arena, so we go to all the home games," Anne Allen, who is from Prestonsburg, said.

Spurlock says she will wear a special Sweet 16 hat to the game. Compton says the group is exploring what Memphis has to offer, while waiting on Friday night's game.

"We are going to listen to some Blues music, cruise up and down the street, and tomorrow we are going to Graceland, party a little bit, and then cheer on the Cats," Compton said.

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