UK fans ‘rowdy’ after Final Four disappointment

4 May

After the final buzzer sounded and the University of Kentucky’s dream of perfection was abruptly ended by the Wisconsin Badgers, throngs of angry fans streamed into the streets of downtown Lexington while the police made sure nothing got too out of hand.

UK men’s basketball lost 71-64 to Wisconsin Saturday night in a Final Four upset that left many fans in varying states of anger, sadness, and disbelief. Fans took to State Street yelling expletive-laced chants, throwing beer bottles into the streets and lighting a few couches on fire.

“My night is ruined,” UK senior Anna Bickers said. “I’m going home.”

Another fan said he was going to the bars “to drink his sorrows away and forget what happened.”

Some of the fans were not as peaceful and dejected, however.

According to Sherelle Roberts, the Public Information Officer for the Lexington Police Department, the force made 31 arrests on the night mostly having to do with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. She added that there were no arrests made for vandalism.

Roberts pointed out that the crowd on Saturday night was much different than the crowd after the Notre Dame victory the week before.

“The Elite Eight crowd was much more celebratory,” Roberts said. “There were less people [Saturday], but they were much more rowdy.”

Roberts would not say if the situation was harder to control for the police, just that it posed a different challenge.

She stated that units were assembled from the Lexington Police Department, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, the University of Kentucky police and the Kentucky State Police.

Roberts said she could not say exactly how many cops were dispatched because it could jeopardize their strategic plans in the future when dealing with similar situations.

Susan Straub, the Director of Communications for the Mayor’s Office, said that the total cost to control the fallout of UK’s Final Four run has not be added up yet but that it would be somewhat similar to last year’s $150,000 price tag.

Much of the fan response mirrored that of the UK player’s response. The Harrison twins and Willie Cauley-Stein refused to shake the Wisconsin player’s hands after the game. Andrew Harrison was then overheard in the press conference whispering “F— that n—-“ in response to a question about Wisconsin’s Associated Press Player of the Year, Frank Kaminsky.

After the game, John Calipari tried to remind fans of the significance this team had on the college basketball landscape.

“Not only [a] historic 38-0 start,” Calipari said after the game. “But it showed that All-Americans can be selfless and servant leaders that care about others more than themselves.”

After the letdown wears off and a few days pass, maybe others will look back at the 2014-15 Cats in this light but right now, Lexington is mourning.

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