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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- (WDRB) Last night in Lexington, it was Big Blue Madness
Today in Louisville, call it Cardinal Crazy. Basketball fans got a chance to see their team for the first time this season.
It's a season of very high expectations. The Cards are ranked first or second in most pre-season polls.
Today was the first public scrimmage, but some fans are already making reservations for the Final Four.
It was a gorgeous fall afternoon. Perfect weather for.... basketball?
It is in Louisville, Kentucky. Especially when the Cardinals are perhaps the nation's top team.
Hundreds gathered outside the YUM Center for a pre-season pep rally. Among them super-fan Gerald Leslie.
"I expect to go to the NCAA Final Four in 2013 and win the championship!"
He is not alone.
"I give em thumbs up. Thumbs up!" said Kevin Cooper.
The first game is two weeks away, but there was a mid-season feel as the Cards made their public debut. It was only practice, but fans saw enough to fuel their fire.
"I don't know why we would settle for anything less than a Final Four run. We got the team. We got the horses. You can see the new recruits our high quality," said David Schulte.
"Big expectations. Hopefully they can go back to the Final Four and hopefully they can win it all this year," said Preston Pipal.
If the team is feeling the pressure of high expectations, the star player and co-captain is certainly not saying so.
"We just try not to worry about it right now," said point guard Peyton Siva. "We just focus on our team. We got a lot to prove, a lot to prove to ourselves. If we just stay humble and hungry, we'll do fine."
The team may be talking humility. But the fans...
"We're going all the way. Us Cardinal fans, we're die-hard!" said Cynthia Murphy.
Are hoping to for a reason to boast, especially to that team down I-64.
"I would love to see us come down to a UK - U of L Final. It's very possible," said Willie Clarkson
U of L will hold two more public scrimmages later this month. The Cards open the season November 1 against Pikeville. The Kentucky Wildcats come to town December 29 at the KFC YUM Center.