Passionate hoops fans convene on Indy this weekend

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INDIANAPOLIS – Thousands of college basketball fans are in Indianapolis this weekend, for Sweet 16 and Elite 8 action at Lucas Oil Stadium downtown.

Our city is no stranger to these large events and the crowds that come with them.

Friday afternoon, there were fans everywhere and police, too. IMPD said officers will be out on horseback and on foot as a precautionary measure, making sure everyone visiting the city stays safe.

Downtown Indianapolis has a beat of its own. But Friday night it was easy to hear a few new cheers, perhaps the loudest coming from the folks in blue and red, Kentucky and Louisville.

The in-state rivals are duking it out in the Circle City.

“I think it will be very close, but I think the Cards will prevail,” said Kim Woodward, a Louisville Cardinals fan.

Some fans are humble.

“There’s nothing like a Kentucky fan. We’re awesome,” said Cheryl Hardin, a Kentucky fan from the Cincinnati-area.

Others press on despite the stress it can cause in a relationship.

“We love each other. He likes to argue with me whenever I mention anything about the Cats,” said Rhonda Maziarz, with her boyfriend, Kentucky fan Ritchie Jones.

To see where loyalties lie, just try talking to the lone Louisville fan at UK headquarters. Here’s a hint. It’s nearly impossible.

But Kentucky and Louisville aren’t the only two teams in town. Tennessee and Michigan played earlier Friday night.

Some Wolverines fans were just in Indianapolis for the Big Ten tournament and thrilled to get back in town.

“It’s a pretty incredible city for something like this. It’s so family friendly. It’s great. I’ve also been for the Super Bowl a few years back, and they always put on a good time,” said Mark Goldstein, a Michigan fan in town from New York.

Those here in Indianapolis for the first time are impressed.

“Oh it’s awesome. It’s outstanding,” said Alina Taylor, a Tennessee fan.

So for another weekend the Circle City gets to do what it does best, hosting those passionate sports fans, willing to wear just about anything for their team.

IMPD tells FOX 59 with college basketball events like the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments they usually don’t have any major problems with fans getting out of control. The department has a plan in place, because the city hosts large events all the time.

Indiana State Excise Police and the city’s Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) will also be out on patrols through the weekend.