Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A U of L spokesman estimates 10,000 or more Cardinals fans could pour into the Cardinal Boulevard area during and after Monday night's NCAA Men's national championship game between Louisville and Michigan.
Police are prepared for the influx of fans, many of whom will have a full day and most of an evening to party before the tipoff after 9 p.m. Monday.
Metro police also plan to focus more officers on West Broadway after their experiences Saturday night and the semi-final win by the men's team.
Metro police reported only a handful of arrests from celebrants of Saturday night's University of Louisville men's NCAA Final Four semifinal basketball win over Wichita State.
Police had assembled at least 200 officers, plus firefighters, paramedics and EMTs to respond to any mayhem in several areas of town. They found their worst problems along West Broadway between 26th and 28th Streets, so that's where police will focus their efforts Monday, in addition to the U of L campus, the Highlands, downtown and Shawnee and Chickasaw Parks.
"We had teenagers, ages 12 to 18 years old, starting fights, standing in the street, being disruptive. We had lots of shots fired, lots of firecrackers that went off initially" on West Broadway, said metro police spokesperson Ofc. Carey Klain.
There was enough mayhem on Broadway to earn it extra police attention for the championship game. Police advice to revelers is not to do anything to hurt themselves or others.
"Again, safe and lawful," Klain said. "We're going to let the celebrations go on, but we're probably going to be more focused on that area where we had problems, between 26th & 28th."
U of L estimated 1,500 to 2,000 students and others crowded Cardinal Boulevard between Third and Fourth Streets Saturday night.
Police said they made no more than two arrests there.
One student in the crowd hoped the peace would stay through the men's game Monday night and perhaps a women's championship Tuesday night. Students already must keep their cars parked well away from the area.
"I think we can celebrate in a classy way. I think we can keep it together and just have fun without being too rowdy," said junior Jennifer Smith.
Police say they will remain flexible to respond on the ground and in the air late Monday night. They fear the couch burnings and large gatherings that marked the University of Kentucky's Final Four wins in Lexington last year.
There are still some parking and traffic restrictions in effect through Tuesday.