Mar 14, 2011 8:27 AM
University of Kentucky basketball fans descended on Atlanta for the SEC Tournament in droves, turning the Georgia Dome into a sea of blue.
The Wildcats have certainly had their share of problems on the road this season, but with all of the Cat fans cheering onthe Big Blue in Atlanta, it created a home game atmosphere, a fact not lost on UK players.
"My first year here at Kentucky, that's really been a crazy factor, is just the way the fans travel and the way they support us. And when we go to a neutral site, it really feels like a home game most of the time. So I think they do a great job looking us up and providing us with confidence," Brandon Knight said.
Darius Miller says even after three seasons, the fan support still amazes him.
"We have been here for three years now, so you can't really say you expect it, but it's just amazing. And playing in front of people like that, I mean all of them came down, it felt like a home game, really. They did a great job of cheering us on the whole time, the whole tournament. So I'm happy to play for them," he said.
And in all likelihood, UK fans will paint Tampa blue for the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Josh Harrellson said the team appreciates the support.
"It's amazing to watch. Wherever we go, they travel with us. We played in Maui this year and we had 3,000-plus fans in Maui. We so appreciate everything they do for us and we love playing for them," he said.
UK will open NCAA Tournament play on Thursday at the St. Pete Time Forum in Tampa. Tip off is scheduled for 2:45 p.m.