Basically, my trip to the KFC Yum! Center to see the John Calipari-coach Dominican Republic team play the Kentucky professional payers team was just a lot of fun -- UK fans were celebrating being UK fans, and the love for all things UK almost made me forget for the moment I was in the home of the Louisville Cardinals. I have been in the Yum! Center three times since it opened, and all but this one it took half an hour to get to the door after the event despite the fact that this was the most crowded it has been at any of the three, and the furthest away from the door I have ever been (basically 180 degrees).
When I mentioned my amazement at getting to the front door in about 7 minutes, some guy in front of me said, "Well, you have to remember, UK fans don't stand around and block everybody's way like Cardinal fans do." Interesting take, and anecdotally, I have to say it seems more valid than less.
I was also pleased at the crowd behavior -- Denny Crum and Eloy Vargas were cheered, Edgar Sosa, Al Horford and Francisco Garcia were roundly booed, and all around there was appreciation for the good basketball plays on both sides.
Attendance-wise, the lower arena was completely full, as were all the corporate seats. The nosebleeds were full on the sides, but not in the end zones, or at least not in the one I could see. I figure between 19-20K, but that's just my rough math. For the pictures I took, go here. Sorry there isn't more, but my iPhone died on me.
The game was excellent, lots of fun but not particularly good basketball, at least by the pros. They were doing a lot of fancy passes that usually resulted in turnovers and couldn't shoot free throws worth a darn, and they made a ton of defensive errors. Needless to say, that cost them against a very good-shooting Dominican Republic team. Even though Garcia, Horford and Sosa didn't log a minute in the second half, the pros proved once again, as if it requires repeating, that great shooting and good teamwork will defeat sick athleticism almost every time.
That's all for now. I have to catch up on some sleep.