Ky. fans celebrate win; dozens arrested swiftly

By Dylan Lovan

Associated Press

Published: Monday, April 2 2012 11:23 p.m. MDT

Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin said some revelers Saturday night acted in a "dangerous and criminal" way by setting fires, overturning cars and hurling bottles into the air. Police used pepper spray in small amounts for crowd control after thousands of rowdy fans swarmed into the streets.

Officers made more than 30 arrests near the UK campus Saturday night for arson, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, and authorities were expecting more arrests from that night's revelry. Police showed the media photos of people in Saturday night's crowds who have been targeted for arson and assault charges once they are identified. Bastin had said patrols would be beefed up for Monday's game.

Andy Mains, a 25-year-old student studying social work, said earlier Monday that he and other students were a little embarrassed by the raucous behavior Saturday night.

"It shows that we can't handle our liquor," he said.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto also issued a warning Monday ahead of the game, saying the rowdy behavior detracted from the success of the players "who have worked tirelessly to represent UK at a national level."

University officials warned students that aside from criminal charges, students could face suspension or expulsion for bad behavior.

UK's campus was peaceful Monday afternoon, but excitement was in the air as blue-clad fans and students eagerly anticipated Kentucky's first trip to the title game in 14 years.

Shouts of "Go Cats!" and honking horns were already audible near the campus' main library in the early afternoon.

Across the street, sophomore Colby Myers and a friend were constructing a humorous tribute to Kentucky star forward and AP Player of the Year Anthony Davis. In the front yard of the Farmhouse Fraternity on Hilltop Avenue, they were sticking black plastic forks in the ground in the shape of Davis's bushy eyebrows — which Myers and other fans endearingly call Davis's "unibrow."

In Louisville, home of the University of Louisville Cardinals, Kentucky Wildcats fans out filled bars and celebrated as the game neared an end Monday night.

"This is huge, this is unbelievable," UK fan Jeff Douglas told WAVE-TV. "I can't believe we got past Louisville and I just want to beat Kansas so bad."

Things were going so well for Kentucky that one Cats fan even looked on one of the team's chief rivals with fondness.

"I'm not a Cardinal fan, but I'm glad that they were there with us. It made it magical, and frankly if they would have won, I would have been rooting for them, so it's about bringing it back to the state where basketball is king," Billy Wade told the station.

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Associated Press writers Campbell reported from Louisville and Bill Draper reported from Lawrence, Kan.

Follow Dylan Lovan on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dylanlovan

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