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Cats, Cards fans enjoy big game in various locations

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By Alex Wimsatt

  While thousands of college basketball fans flocked to New Orleans for Saturday’s historic NCAA Final Four matchup of the University of Louisville Cardinals and the University of Kentucky Wildcats, many Bullitt Countians watched the Battle of the Bluegrass from the comfort of their favorite watering holes. 

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Mount Washington’s Kettle Creek restaurant and Shepherdsville’s City Limits Bar and Grill were among the many local establishments filled with basketball fans decked out in red and blue.

A sense of excitement filled the air as the crowds could be heard chanting C-A-T-S and C-A-R-D-S over and over. 

More than 100 UofL and UK fans packed City Limits, where there was no shortage of drinks or good spirit. 

Sporting a red, white and blue shirt to appear neutral, City Limits owner Dale Tharpe said he couldn’t help being excited that both teams had made it so far. 

“This is the best thing that could happen for Kentucky and college basketball,” he said of the Final Four matchup.

Shepherdsville City Councilman Larry Hatfield was among those rooting for Louisville at City Limits and while he said it was great seeing the Cats and Cards battle on the court, he was excited to see the game’s impact on the local economy. 

“People are watching the game somewhere and they’re spending money,” he said. “It’s great for the state and local economy.”

Tommy Davis, a UofL fan, and his wife Jessica Davis, a UK fan, stood out like a sore thumb at City Limits, showing that Louisville and Kentucky fans can coexist peacefully.

“We get into it every now and then,” Tommy Davis said of living in a house divided. 

“It’s fun,” Jessica Davis said. “We pick at each other. I knows who’s going to win.”

“She thinks she knows who’s going to win,” Tommy Davis interjected.

At Kettle Creek Tara and Jeremy Jenkins appeared to be the only UK/UofL couple watching the Final Four. 

Tara Jenkins, a Louisville fan, said that while she and her husband typically don’t argue over their teams’ rivalry, their children have gotten into some heated discussions.

While the Jenkins’ 12-year-old daughter is a UK fan, their 9-year-old son is a UofL fan and as Tara Jenkins said, it has made for interesting conversations. 

“They get into it sometimes,” Tara Jenkins said laughing. “Our 5-year-old doesn’t know what he is yet, so there he is stuck in the middle.”

Though the lines are clearly drawn in the Jenkins household, Tara Jenkins said it’s all in good fun, adding that while they may not always agree on which team to root for, they all love college basketball.

UK fan Lisa Keown, who was among those gathered at the Kettle Creek bar on Saturday evening, said she couldn’t miss seeing the Cats and the Cards duke it out for a spot in the championship game.

Keown said she and her husband Donnie could have gone other places to watch the game, but they chose Kettle Creek because they wanted to stay close to home and because they liked the atmosphere.  

Louisville fan Jim Walker said he had been looking forward to seeing the Cards play in the Final Four since the team made it past the Elite Eight. 

But the Cards fan, who donned a black and red University of Louisville shirt, said he wasn’t just excited for his team, he was excited for the state. 

“I’m always proud to be a Kentuckian, but having two teams in the Final Four makes me even prouder,” he said.