MOVING
MOVING TO THECRUNCHZONE.COM

You may have noticed a lack of content lately, especially for the University of Kentucky. After two years of probably the most fun we’ve ever had, the decision has been made to focus SOLELY on the University of Louisville and this site (sometime in the next 10-14 days) will re-direct to THECRUNCHZONE.COM.  Our new home is still under construction, and we are preparing content to launch the new digs with a bang!

What you can expect moving forward is the same great coverage of the Cards that you are used to from us, just without the focus on Kentucky.  I want to personally thank our friends and colleagues that helped us start this venture on the Wildcat side for their time, efforts, energy, and excitement.  It truly was a pleasure.  Also the University of Kentucky was equally supportive during the last two seasons, and we wish them all the best.

If you have any questions at all, please respond to this post, e-mail me, reach out on Twitter (@UofLSheriff50) and I will be happy to answer anything at all.

In the meantime, be sure to follow my partner, if you aren’t already, CrumsRevenge and also our new venture THECRUNCHZONE.COM as we will continue to bring you the best big projects in Cardinal Sports!

 

 

 

NCAAChampionshipTrophy
Anatomy of a Championship: A Before & After Evaluation

The University of Louisville Cardinals are the reigning National Champions until (at least) next April when the NCAA crowns a new champion at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.  The Cards will be a preseason Top 5 team and will have expectations to return to the Final Four for a 3rd consecutive season.  The Kentucky Wildcats will also have expectations to go to Dallas after bowing out of the 1st round of the NIT a year AFTER winning the National Championship in New Orleans capping off the 2012 season.  EITHER team winning the 2014 National Championship would buck recent trends.

-NO DEFENDING CHAMPION HAS ADVANCED PAST THE SWEET 16 SINCE 2007, AND JUST ONCE SINCE 2001. 

-SINCE 1991 ONLY TWO TEAMS HAVE WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP COMING OUT OF THE NIT A YEAR PRIOR….AND NEITHER TEAM WAS BOUNCED IN THE 1ST ROUND. 

-SINCE 1991 ONLY TWO PROGRAMS HAVE WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT BEING RANKED IN THE FINAL AP POLL FROM THE YEAR BEFORE THEIR CHAMPIONSHIP. 

After the Cards & Cats have kept the National Championship in the state for 2 years running, we searched for trends that existed in past champions. The research took quite a while to gather and is sorted BEFORE & AFTER a program’s championship season, what the team record was, how their post-season ended, % minutes, points, and rebounds returning, number of players departed, how many drafted in the NBA, and incoming McDonald’s All-Americans.

SEASON BEFORE TITLE

The data below shows there really isn’t an exact way to win a championship based on last year’s numbers.  However, it does reveal some interesting trends. First, UConn’s 2011 season is a consistent oddity throughout this process as you will see.

-Average of 27.91 wins per champion from a year before the title is pretty significant.  UConn’s 2009-10 season was a dismal 18-16, and the Huskies lost 7 players and had ZERO McDonald’s All-American’s incoming.  Connecticut is definitely the outlier and the only program to win a championship without having 20 wins a season before. The next lowest returning win total was Arkansas who prior to their championship in 1994 went 22-9 and went to the Sweet 16.

-The Previous Season Final Ranking is interesting, since 1991 ONLY TWO PROGRAMS HAVE WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT BEING RANKED IN THE FINAL AP POLL FROM THE YEAR BEFORE THEIR CHAMPIONSHIP.  The first team was of course, 2003 Syracuse who rode to the crown on the hot hand of superstar Carmelo Anthony. And the second team being 2011 UConn who also rode the hot hand of Kemba Walker.  Both of these teams also came out of the NIT to win the title.

-The next column tells how each season finished a year before for the National Champ. Again, recent history highlights UConn as the exception here, with every Title holder advancing at least to the Sweet 16 a year prior to winning it all. A “Rough Numerical Estimate” to quantify that ending was then established.  Teams that exited in the Round of 16 were given a value of 16, despite possibly being better than the other 7 teams that exited in the same round.  Since 1991 the average champion had a value of 18.52, which basically means that to have a statistically good shot at winning the championship a team needs to make the Sweet 16 a year before.

In fact, removing both of the back to back champions and also removing the two programs who won the title out of the NIT, the “Rough Numerical Value” moves from 18.52 to 15.29. Still it CAN happen, the odds just aren’t in those programs’ favor.

-The next 3 columns were thought to carry more weight but the numbers from year to year were just too bullish to really get any kind of handle on.  Returning Minutes, Points, and Rebounds from the previous season ranged from a low of the 1997 Arizona Title Team (from the 1995-96 to the 1996-97 season) across all categories to a high of the 2005 North Carolina team.  Again UConn 2011 found itself on the lower end of this measure, as did Syracuse 2003 both of which came out of the NIT a year prior to win a title……the only two programs to do so since 1991.

But the average returning Minutes, Points, and Rebounds ranged from about 68%-72% for all champions, but it varied too widely to place any sort of standard for champions.  Same goes for Number of Players Departed, the range was just too wide to place any sort of significance to the metric.

-# of Players Drafted a Year Prior to a Team’s Title run DID ring true.  23 Championship teams, almost all of them are traditional basketball powers….and yet a year prior to their title run teams put an average of 0.65 players into the NBA Draft.  In fact 12 of 23 teams had ZERO draftable players prior to winning it all, and only 4 teams had more than 1 player drafted a year prior to a championship.

-Incoming McDonald’s All-Americans was also another interesting metric.  Of the 23 Championship teams 8 had ZERO incoming McDonald’s All-Americans (34.78%), 10 teams had ONE incoming MCDAA (43.4%), and just 5 had 1+ (21.74%). It is a small sample, and there are always top recruits that just miss the McDonald’s All-American cut that can come in and make a difference right away, but I did think it was significant that 78.26% of all champions since 1991 had ONE or FEWER incoming McDonald’s All-Americans.

School Prev Season Record Prev Final Rank Prev Season Result % Minutes Returning % Points Returning % Rebounding Returning # of players gone # of players to NBA Draft McD’s AA incoming
2013 Louisville 30-10 17 Final Four 4 58.77% 59.66% 69.39% 7 0 0
2012 Kentucky 29-9 11 Final Four 4 51.58% 55.08% 54.72% 4 3 4
2011 UCONN 18-16 12 NIT 2nd Round 84 43.62% 36.09% 46.04% 7 1 0
2010 Duke 30-7 8 Sweet 16 16 60.38% 64.11% 67.06% 5 1 2
2009 North Carolina 36-3 1 Final Four 4 84.93% 91.55% 86.25% 4 0 3
2008 Kansas 33-5 2 Elite 8 8 85.17% 83.55% 79.43% 2 1 1
2007 Florida 33-6 11 NCAA Champions 1 90.29% 93.15% 89.73% 2 0 0
2006 Florida 24-8 16 NCAA 2nd Round 32 55.58% 39.91% 59.95% 5 1 0
2005 North Carolina 25-11 18 NCAA 2nd Round 32 97.01% 98.54% 97.90% 4 0 1
2004 UCONN 23-10 23 Sweet 16 16 79.15% 82.57% 81.99% 6 0 1
2003 Syracuse 23-12 NR NIT Final Four 68 46.66% 41.30% 62.72% 6 0 1
2002 Maryland 25-11 11 Final Four 4 71.05% 74.99% 64.99% 4 1 0
2001 Duke 29-5 1 Sweet 16 16 82.50% 80.75% 84.20% 1 1 1
2000 Michigan State 33-5 2 Final Four 4 50.42% 56.02% 50.61% 6 0 1
1999 UCONN 32-5 6 Elite 8 8 91.68% 92.87% 91.97% 2 0 0
1998 Kentucky 35-5 5 National Runner-Up 2 64.47% 57.35% 73.71% 4 2 0
1997 Arizona 27-6 11 Sweet 16 16 36.33% 36.58% 34.80% 6 3 2
1996 Kentucky 28-5 2 Elite 8 8 77.55% 76.80% 80.57% 3 0 2
1995 UCLA 23-8 17 NCAA 1st Round 64 79.35% 79.85% 80.71% 4 0 0
1994 Arkansas 22-9 12 Sweet 16 16 69.27% 68.76% 74.65% 3 0 1
1993 North Carolina 23-10 18 Sweet 16 16 82.44% 73.95% 92.64% 3 1 1
1992 Duke 32-7 6 National Champions 1 74.00% 75.77% 80.20% 4 0 1
1991 Duke 29-9 15 National Runner-Up 2 61.35% 51.59% 60.99% 4 2 1


27.91 Average Wins

18.52 69.28% 68.30% 72.40% 4 0.65 0.96

SEASON AFTER TITLE

After coming up with data BEFORE a Championship run, I thought it would be prudent to get data for the same set on what happened AFTER a team’s championship run.  Of course we know that the 2012 Champions missed the NCAA Tournament, which isn’t unprecedented at all.  The 1986-87 Louisville Cardinals allowed their season to end after the ’87 Metro Tournament after being left out of the NCAA Field following an 18-14 season.

In fact, following up a Championship is REALLY hard.  Not only have only 2 programs since 1991 been able to repeat as champions, since 2001 only ONE program (Florida 2006, repeated as champions) has been able to return to the Final Four a year after winning it all.  However, from 1991 to 2000 (10 year period) 4 of 10 Champions Returned to the Final Four & 6 of 10 went at least to the Elite 8.  Why?  I don’t think it is a coincidence that Kenyon Martin was the last College Senior to be drafted #1 at the 2000 NBA Draft.   The one exception that was Florida 2006 had several players return to college despite 1st Round Projections, which is categorically atypical from college basketball since the 2000 Draft.

So what trends have their been since 1991 that would suggest a team have a successful season a year after winning a National Title.  First of all, I defined success as at least a Regional Final (Elite 8).  With single-elimination in the NCAA Tournament, winning a national championship can’t be the ultimate measure (the Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat in Game 1, which in the NCAA Tournament would have eliminated the Heat.  Miami won the series 4-1).  I then collected the record for each team, % Minutes, Points, & Rebounds Returning, Number of Players Lost from the title team, Number of Players Drafted, and Number of incoming McDonald’s All-Americans.

-The First Columns that really matters here is the Next Year Result & Next Season record following a Championship season.  I think it is important to note that since the 2007 Florida Gators, no defending champion has advanced past the Sweet 16.  The 2007 Florida Gators are the exception as a defending champion returning over 90% of their production (will discuss later), but a quick look at the change in college basketball is clear on the chart.  Since Michigan State won the 2000 Championship and returned to the 2001 NCAA Final Four just one team has advanced past the Sweet 16 after winning the national championship, but before the Spartans were able to pull that off it was actually really common for defending champions to make Final Fours and have successful seasons. From the 1992 Tournament to the 2001 Tournament (10 seasons) FOUR Defending Champions reached the Final Four, and SIX Reached at least a Regional Final. 

Since 1991 the follow-up to a championship season average “Rough Numerical Value” is 28.64 (Somewhere between the Round of 32 & the Sweet 16), with a bias towards the Round of 32.  But again there is a distinct change in time periods.  That value from 2013 to 2002 is 37.08, which is actually between the 1st & 2nd Rounds of the NCAA Tournament.  While the value from 1992-2001 is 18.5……a DRASTIC difference!!!

-The same sort of phenomenon also exists in the Next Year Record & Final Ranking.  Defending Champions have won an average of 26.68 games, but breaking out the same time periods as above and it’s clear of the changing landscape of college basketball .  From 2013 to 2002 defending champions have won an average of 25 games, while from 2001 to 1992 defending champs won an average of 28.7 games. Since Florida won the 2007 Championship just 2 of 6 (33%) defending champions have managed to appear in the Final AP Basketball Poll, while from 1991 to 2006, 100% (16 of 16) defending champions appeared in the Final Ranking. 

-Returning % of Minutes, Points & Rebounds I did find interesting.  Firstly, the 1997 Arizona Team returned the highest percentage and finished the regular season #4 in the nation and earned a #1 seed in the West Region before falling in the Regional Final to the National Runner-Up in Utah in 1998.  It wasn’t a national championship, but the season would certainly be considered successful.  On the flip side, the University of Kentucky’s 2012 title team returned the fewest % across the three categories and also had the worst result of a follow-up championship season.

To keep the example going, the next highest returning % team to 1997 Arizona was the 2006 Florida team who was able to repeat as National Champions in 2007.  Since 1992 only 3 programs have won the National Championship and finished the next season in the NIT, and none of the 3 brought a higher average production percentage back than 34.84%.  However, two programs have managed to bring back less than 35% production  from their title run (2005 North Carolina & 2008 Kansas) but neither team was able to advance past the Sweet 16.

-Of the champions sampled, the average championship team lost an average of 5.55 players. The lowest number of players departed was 2 (twice) in 1997 Arizona and 2006 Florida.  Arizona finished the season #4 in the country and was bounced in the Elite 8. Florida repeated as National Champions.  The Louisville Cardinals also are currently scheduled to lose just two off their roster.

-The NBA Draft Results are also very interesting as well.  If you recall what happened BEFORE a Title teams had an average of just 0.65 players drafted, but AFTER teams have an average of 2.09 players taken by the NBA in their draft.  2012 Kentucky has the high mark here with 6 players taken, 2007 Florida and 2008 Kansas were able to produce 5 draftable players each off of their championship teams.  I did find it interesting that just 5 teams since 1991 have had ZERO players taken by the NBA and of those 2 repeated as Champions and one was the National Runner-Up.

-Incoming McDonald’s All-Americans didn’t change much BEFORE or AFTER a title but there was a slight bump of 0.96 to 1.14.  But the inclusion of MCDAA’s were not a DEFINITE help to champions defending their title.  For example, three teams have added  multiple MCDAAs after winning a National Championship since 2006 and all three of those teams ended up in the NIT.

School Championship Record Next Year Result Next year Record Next Year Final Rank % Minutes Returning % Points Returning % Rebounding Returning # of players gone # of players to NBA Draft McD’s AA incoming for next season
2013 Louisville 35-5 ? - ? ? 72.02% 75.69% 72.54%
2 ? 0
2012 Kentucky 38-2 NIT 1st Round 100 21-12 NR 9.56% 7.63% 9.83% 9.01% 6 6 2
2011 UCONN 32-9 NCAA 1st Round 64 20-14 NR 61.84% 53.42% 69.99% 61.75% 4 1 0
2010 Duke 35-5 NCAA Sweet 16 16 32-5 3 57.89% 66.90% 55.68% 60.16% 6 0 1
2009 North Carolina 34-4 NIT Runner-Up 67 20-17 NR 33.09% 25.23% 46.21% 34.84% 9 4 4
2008 Kansas 37-3 NCAA Sweet 16 16 27-8 14 15.47% 15.18% 25.99% 18.88%  9 5 0
2007 Florida 35-5 NIT Final Four 69 24-12 NR 19.00% 15.91% 22.07% 18.99% 9 5 2
2006 Florida 33-6 National Champion 1 35-5 3 90.29% 93.15% 94.65% 92.70% 2 0 0
2005 North Carolina 33-4 NCAA 2nd Round 32 23-8 10 15.85% 8.97% 18.81% 14.54% 12 4 3
2004 UCONN 33-6 NCAA 2nd Round 32 23-8 13 49.44% 46.77% 49.56% 48.59% 5 2 1
2003 Syracuse 30-5 NCAA Sweet 16 16 23-8 20 67.76% 58.06% 66.01% 63.94% 5 1 0
2002 Maryland 32-4 NCAA Sweet 16 16 21-10 17 43.10% 31.34% 39.76% 38.07% 4 3 1
2001 Duke 35-4 NCAA Sweet 16 16 31-4 1 61.96% 60.57% 61.06% 61.20% 8 1 1
2000 Michigan State 32-7 NCAA Final Four 4 28-5 3 60.38% 53.27% 65.56% 59.74% 4 2 2
1999 UCONN 34-2 NCAA 2nd Round 32 25-10 20 60.78% 58.40% 70.02% 63.07% 6 1 0
1998 Kentucky 35-4 NCAA Elite 8 8 28-9 8 58.63% 52.10% 59.41% 56.71% 4 1 1
1997 Arizona 25-9 NCAA Elite 8 8 30-5 4 97.48% 97.72% 97.31% 97.50% 2 0 0
1996 Kentucky 34-2 NCAA Runner-Up 2 35-5 5 46.44% 39.70% 36.85% 41.00% 6 4 0
1995 UCLA 32-1 NCAA 1st Round 64 23-8 14 55.86% 48.49% 56.04% 53.46% 4 3 1
1994 Arkansas 31-3 NCAA Runner-Up 2 32-7 6 88.20% 91.50% 91.61% 90.44% 3 0 1
1993 North Carolina 34-4 NCAA 2nd Round 32 28-7 1 57.81% 63.26% 56.25% 59.11% 6 1 3
1992 Duke 34-2 NCAA 2nd Round 32 24-8 10 53.60% 49.83% 58.50% 53.98% 4 2 1
1991 Duke 32-7 National Champion 1 34-2 1 74.00% 75.77% 80.20% 76.66% 4 0 1
28.64 26.68 Wins 53.57% 50.60% 55.97% 53.38% 5.55 2.09 1.14

Summary

Winning a championship is TOUGH.  I think the data explored showed that programs really need SOME momentum heading into a potential championship season.  Of course, exceptions are all over the place but bucking the trend requires exceptional circumstance.  Repeating as national champions may be the toughest task in all of basketball these days.  With the NBA snatching top talent from championship teams, the data showed clearly that the change at the professional level has created an even tougher landscape in college basketball to remain at the top.

I attempted to highlight the standout features of all of the information gathered.  The Louisville & Kentucky rivalry has probably not been this intense in well over a decade and with the two programs being the most recent NCAA Champions with teams that most consider Top 5 teams for 2013-14 we are probably in for a wild ride.  But bucking the trends aren’t going to be easy for EITHER team to find their way to the Final Four at  Dallas’ Cowboys Stadium, but hopefully the data presented will help folks understand why it didn’t happen….OR help to appreciate the acheivement even more if Louisville, Kentucky, or Both find their way to college basketball’s grandest stage.

How were the columns created:

-Records: Won/Loss Records before or after a championship season.
-Final Rankings: Taken From Associated Press Final Polls
-Season Results: How a season ended. Numerical Value Presented is based on number of teams in a round. In the case of NIT, the number of teams in a round plus the number of teams in the NCAA Tournament.
-% of Production Returning: taken from players that left the program following a season. If I player scored 200 points and the team scored 1000 points in a season that player represents a 20% decrease, the sum of which was added up for all 3 sections and all 3 players.
-# of players gone: If they logged stats they were counted. If they were on roster and did not play a single minute, score, or grab a rebound those players were not counted.
-# Players Drafted: Players that were drafted in any round of the applicable NBA Draft.
-# of McDonald’s All-American’s Incoming: Taken from historical rosters

Why Did The Data Begin At 1991?  1991 was chosen because it was the first time a national champion has repeated since the field has expanded to 64 since 1985.  Also, data became more and more difficult to gather to create a full report. Further digging may allow for a more detailed report as time goes along.

cowboys-stadium-asg-0210-560
2014 NCAA Tournament: ONE DOMED REGION

In 2014 the NCAA Tournament will have just ONE Domed Region, Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.  Why is that important?  Since 2005 NINE champions have been crowned, SEVEN came from Regions played in DOMES.  That’s even more significant when you consider that of the 36 Regional sites in the past 9 NCAA Tournaments, just 15 have been played in DOMES.  So when 77.8% of the past NINE Champions have come from DOME REGIONS and the Regional sites that have used domes are just 41.6% of the possible venues that is a pretty big advantage.

Also consider this: Since 2005 teams coming from Domed Regions vs. teams from Arena Regions are 13-4 in the Final Four.  

The recent dominance of dome teams vs. arena teams over the past 9 tournaments suggests that teams coming from a Dome Environment to another Dome Environment have an advantage over teams who are making the adjustment during Final Four week.  The Final Four is already much different from what these teams typically go through. The media sessions are longer, the attention is much greater, and of course players & coaches must deal with a much longer period between games (6-7 days) between the National Semifinals and the Regional Final. All before playing on college basketball’s biggest platform.

Data prior to 2005 is much more even, with Arena Regions actually having a slight advantage over Domed Regions. Recently, however, Final sites have been played with the basketball court in the MIDDLE of the venue, where a football field was designed to be.  That difference, opposed to using half of the dome like at the 2013 Regional Final at Lucas Oil might be the main difference in the most recent set of data that favors Domed Regions.

There has been talk recently of bringing the Final Four back to Arenas.  It isn’t a terrible idea, but playing the Final Four inside of an arena would greatly reduce the accessibility of the event.  The NCAA distributes tickets to school presidents, athletic directors, sponsors and honored guests each year for the Final Four, in addition to a HUGE media presence at the event.  Arenas only have so much space, and while many of those listed could be accommodated in loge & box areas take note of how the street value and availability of tickets for the 75,000 seat Georgia Dome behaved.  Having attended several Final Fours, I’ve seen tickets in previous years as low as $50 and fairly good seats for about $200.  And tickets for the National FINAL were always cheaper and more readily available than the National Semi-Final……but that didn’t happen in Atlanta.  In Atlanta several folks brought $300-$400 and couldn’t find a ticket in their market, I know of several people who traveled to Atlanta, paid for gas & lodging and fully intended on spending $400+ for a ticket to the National Championship game only to be shut out.  If the NCAA moved the Final Four back to an arena format the supply and availability of basketball’s grandest stage would become even more limited.

Whatever the NCAA decides for the Final Fours future, the 2014 NCAA Final Four will be held at the enormous Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX.  The only region that will be playing in the statistically advantageous Dome environement will be at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  Let the jockeying begin.


Champion Regional Site Dome or No Dome # of Domed Regions Teams Region Venue Dome vs. Arena Wins W Dome vs. Arena Losses L
2013 Louisville Lucas Oil Dome 2 Louisville Lucas Oil (Dome) Louisville vs. Wichita 1





Wichita State Staples Center (Arena) Michigan vs. Syracuse 1

Final-Georgia Dome


Michigan Cowboys Stadium (Dome)








Syracuse Verizon Center (Arena)














2012 Kentucky Georgina Dome Dome 2 Louisville US Airways (Arena) Kentucky vs. Louisville 1





Kentucky Georgia Dome (Dome) Kansas vs. Ohio State 1

Final-Superdome


Kansas Edwards Jones Dome (Dome)








Ohio State TD Garden (Arena)














2011 Uconn Honda Center Arena 1 Kentucky Prudential Center (Arena)

VCU v. Butler 1





VCU Alamodome (Dome)




Final-Reliant Stadium


Uconn Honda Center (Arena)








Butler New Orleans Arena (Arena)














2010 DUKE Reliant Dome 3 WVU Carrier Dome (Dome) Duke v. Butler 1 Michigan State vs. Butler 1





Butler Energy Solutions (Arena)




Final-Lucas Oil


Michigan St Edwards Jones Dome (Dome)








DUKE Reliant Stadium (Dome)














2009 North Carolina FedEx Forum Arena 2 Villanova TD Garden (Arena)

Michigan State vs. UNC 1





Uconn University of Phoenix Stadium (Dome)




Final-Ford Field


North Carolina FedEx Forum (Arena)








Michigan St Lucas Oil (dome)














2008 Kansas Ford Field Dome 2 North Carolina Charlotte Bobcats Arena (Arena) Kansas vs. UNC 1






UCLA US Airways (Arena) Memphis vs. UCLA 1


Final-Alamodome


Kansas Ford Field (Dome)








Memphis Reliant Stadium (Dome)














2007 Florida Edwards Jones Dome 2 Ohio State Alamodome (Dome) Florida vs. UCLA 1






UCLA HP Pavilion (Arena) Ohio St. vs. Gtown 1


Final-Georgia Dome


Georgetown Continental Airlines Arena (Arena)








Florida Edwards Jones Dome (Dome)














2006 Florida Metrodome Dome 2 LSU Georgia Dome (Dome) Florida v. George Mason 1 LSU v. UCLA 1





UCLA Oakland Arena (Arena) Florida v. UCLA 1


Final-RCA Dome


Florida Metrodome (Dome)








George Mason Verizon Center (Arena)














2005 North Carolina Carrier Dome Dome 1 Louisville University Arena (NM Pit) North Carolina v. Michigan St 1






Illinois AllState Arena North Carolina v. Illinois 1


Final-Edwards Jones Dome


Michigan St Frank Erwin Center (Arena)








North Carolina Carrier Dome (Dome)



Stoops has Kentucky fans excited about the future of the football program.
Mark Stoops Era Kicks off Saturday during Blue/White Spring Game

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Here is the latest fan information for the Blue/White Spring Football Game.  Presented by The Townhomes at Newton Crossing, the game is Saturday, April 13 with kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET at Commonwealth Stadium.  For a complete summary, fans may go to www.ukathletics.com/fbgameday to answer all questions regarding parking, traffic, tickets, seating and more.

  • ·         Unlike previous spring games, all fans, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter Commonwealth Stadium. Tickets are free and available at the stadium beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the Will Call booth outside Gate 4 and at a ticketing tent between Gates 10 & 11.  Stadium gates 1,2,3,4,9,10,11 and 12 will open to fans at 6 p.m. ET.
  • ·         Fans will have the chance to purchase or renew 2013 football season tickets at the main ticket booth outside gate 4 of Commonwealth Stadium beginning at 4 p.m. For detailed information on UK football season tickets, visit http://www.ukathletics.com/tickets/tickets-m-footbl.html.
  • ·         Parking lots will open to the general public at 8 a.m. on game day. Parking surrounding Commonwealth Stadium is free and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Fans are encouraged to arrive early in order to get a spot near the stadium.
  • ·         When stadium lots are filled, fans are encouraged to park in …

o   Parking Structure #1 (corner of University Drive and Cooper Drive)

o   Parking Structure #2 (by William T. Young Library)

o   Parking Structure #7 (on Sports Center Drive next to tennis courts)

  • ·         RV parking is also first-come, first-serve in the main RV lot off Alumni Drive.
  • ·         Fans will also have multiple shuttle options to get to the game. The UK Football Express downtown shuttle ($2.50 one-way/$5 round-trip) will begin at 4 p.m. and will pick up at the Shops at the Civic Center (430 W. Vine), LexTran Transit Center Garage (200 W. Vine) and Ramsey’s (Woodland Ave.).
  • ·         A shuttle will also run to/from Keeneland beginning at 11:30 a.m. designed for individuals who wish to park at Commonwealth Stadium and receive transportation to Keeneland and then back to Commonwealth Stadium. The shuttle is $1 each way and will pick-up/drop-off in the north Red Lot, directly west of the BCTC campus.
  • ·         Fans are invited to the “Cat Walk” — cheering the team when the Wildcats enter Commonwealth Stadium – at 5:15 p.m. at Gate One.
  • ·         Commemorative posters will be given away and may be picked up at the program stands inside the stadium gates.
  • ·         The Wildcat Refuge, featuring giant inflatable games for children, will be located outside Gate 9 of the stadium (weather permitting).

Here is additional game day procedures.

Directions/Traffic

  • ·         As you approach the Commonwealth Stadium complex, tune in to 1700 AM radio for real-time parking, traffic & lot closure information.
  • ·         Please follow direction of all traffic officers and parking personnel to ensure efficient and effective vehicle ingress, parking and egress.
  • ·         Pre-game traffic flow will be similar to that of a standard home game.  Fans wishing to park in a specific lot will be required to enter the complex from a specified direction, as per the pre-game traffic flow diagram.
  • ·         Post-game traffic flow will be similar to that of a standard home game.  Parking personnel and traffic officers will direct vehicles to exit the complex, as per the post-game traffic flow diagram.
  • ·         Visit www.ukathletics.com/fbgameday/directions.html for more information.

Parking

  • ·         Real-time parking, traffic & lot closure information, follow @UKParking on Twitter and 1700AM as you approach the complex
  • ·         All parking is free.  While a portion of the Green Lot will be designated for reserved parking, all remaining available lots will be first-come first-served, and will open at 8:00am on Saturday, April 13.

o   See attached Spring Game Parking Diagram for available lots

  • ·         Beginning at 6:00 p.m., lots will be filled according to availability.  If your desired lot is full upon arrival, you will be directed to the next available lot.
  • ·         Fans with tow-behind trailers will be directed to park in the nearest available grass lot (Orange or Purple).

Tailgating

  • ·         In order to accommodate the parking demand, please confine your tailgate to behind your vehicle and in one parking stall.  ONE SPACE-ONE VEHICLE.  Please keep all drive lanes clear for efficient vehicle ingress/egress.
  • ·         In the interest of safety, fans’ golf cart use is prohibited on the Commonwealth Stadium complex, to include all parking lots, sidewalks, streets, etc.
  • ·         Large industrial-sized cookers and portable generators must be approved by UK Athletics prior to game day.
  • ·         Cooper Drive & Residential (R-3) lots on the corner of Sportscenter Drive & Cooper Drive will be closed to all vehicle parking/tailgating.

Disability Services

  • ·         A valid state issued hangtag will be required to access free handicapped parking located in the Blue Lot outside Gate 12, Red Lot outside Gate 9 and Tobacco Research Center parking lot, accessible via Farm Rd, west of University Drive.  Once disabled parking lots are full, guests will be directed to the closest available parking lot.
  • ·         Tobacco Research Center (Farm Rd.) handicapped shuttle will begin at 5:00pm, transporting guests to Commonwealth Stadium Gate 9.  Return shuttles begin at the end of the 3rd quarter and will operate until 30 minutes post-game.
  • ·         Two 6-passenger golf carts will operate from Gate 9, transporting guests to requested gates outside the stadium.

Shuttles

  • ·         UK Football Express – Downtown Shuttle ($2.50 one-way/ $5.00 round-trip) will begin at 4:00 p.m.  Tickets are for sale and shuttle will pick up at the Shops at the Civic Center (430 W. Vine), LexTran Transit Center Garage (200 W. Vine) and Ramsey’s (Woodland Ave.)
  • ·         Keeneland/Spring Game Shuttle ($1.00 each way) will begin at 11:30 a.m. and is designed for individuals wishing to park at Commonwealth Stadium and receive transportation to Keeneland and back to Commonwealth Stadium

o   To utilize the Keeneland/Spring Game shuttle, guests should park in the north Red Lot (located directly west of the BCTC campus).  Fans  may board the shuttle at the bus stop located on the far east side of the north Red Lot.

  • ·         Tobacco Research Center (Farm Rd.) handicapped shuttle will begin at 5:00 p.m., transporting guests to Commonwealth Stadium Gate 9.  Return shuttles begin at the end of the 3rd quarter and will operate until 30 minutes post-game.
  • ·         Two 6-passenger golf carts will operate from Gate 9, taking guests to requested gates, outside the stadium.
  • ·         For more information visit www.ukathletics.com/fbgameday/shuttle.html

RV Information

  • ·         RV parking will be free & first-come first served in the Main RV lot off Alumni Drive
  • ·         Additional RV parking will be available in the Ag RV (North off Cooper Drive) & Visitor RV (Virginia/Press Avenue).
  • ·         Tow-behind vehicles will not be permitted in the RV lots, except for trucks pulling a 5th wheel/trailer
  • ·         For more information visit www.ukathletics.com/fbgameday/rv.html

Tickets/Seating

  • ·         All persons, regardless of age, must have a ticket to enter Commonwealth Stadium.
  • ·         Tickets are free and available on game day at the Will Call booth outside Gate 4 or a ticketing tent between Gates 10 & 11.
  • ·         Lower level tickets will be reserved seating
  • ·         Upper level tickets will be general admission seating
  • ·         Pass outs/re-entry is not permitted as per SEC regulations