Gov. Steve Beshear today proclaimed Tuesday, April 3, as “Championship Day” in Kentucky, in recognition of the University of Kentucky basketball team winning the 2012 NCAA men’s basketball title. “Our state not only sent four teams to the tournament, but made up half of the Final Four and brought home the trophy,” the governor said in a statement released by his office. “The Wildcats have been the team to beat all season, and in last night’s game against Kansas, they proved once again that they’re the best team in the country.”
The proclamation honors the team’s accomplishment in defeating the University of Kansas, 67-59, on Monday night to secure the school’s eighth national championship. The governor joined other Kentucky fans in a public celebration this afternoon at Rupp Arena.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that 20,000 tickets were given out to members of the public who wanted to welcome the Wildcats home during the public celebration.
After winning NCAA tournament games against Western Kentucky, Iowa State, Indiana and Baylor universities, UK advanced to the championship game against Kansas by defeating the University of Louisville, 69-61, Saturday in the “Battle of the Bluegrass.” The proclamation notes that the in-state rivalry game “was viewed with pride by Kentucky fans of both teams.”