No place does College GameDay quite like Rupp Arena. ESPN's popular pregame show came to Lexington on Saturday morning ahead of an evening matchup between college basketball's winningest programs -- Kentucky and Kansas. The Big Blue Nation showed up in droves -- the crowd was estimated at 4,000 -- and some even in costume.
Gates opened at 9 a.m., but many fans braved freezing temperatures to line up ahead of time. The crowd was immediately big enough to fill the sections behind the set at midcourt and awake enough to get rowdy whenever the GameDay crew had a live SportsCenter hit.
Then it was time for GameDay to go on the air, which brought cheers every time Rece Davis, Seth Greenberg, Jay Williams and Jay Bilas had something good to say about UK and boos whenever they had something good to say about, well, pretty much everyone else.
After a great feature on Malik Monk, John Calipari took time out of his preparations for Kansas to stop by the GameDay set. Not surprisingly, he got the biggest cheers of the morning.
Deservedly, one of the guys who came dressed as the cast of the Wizard of Oz got a shot at the big half-court shot prize, narrowly missing on a couple. Then the crew made their picks for the game, with all three analysts (and John Wall) picking the Cats.