After a season of some pretty bad basketball all around, this was 40 minutes of fun. After some ups and downs during the past 16 years, this was 40 minutes of Rick Pitino cementing his legend, becoming the first coach to win a national title at two different schools. After 12 months, it took just 40 minutes to bring the NCAA championship trophy right back to the commonwealth. Last year, Kentucky. This year, Louisville. Take that North Carolina. Take that Indiana. Take that all those other so-called basketball states. And Louisville had to earn the title, outlasting a young and talented Michigan team, superbly coached by John Beilein, that led the Cards by as many as 12 points in the first half before finally falling 82-76.
Downtown Lexington is often a hectic spot, particularly when there’s a big game a Rupp Arena. Events like this week’s N-C-double-A tournament are money makers for the hospitality industry. But, it also offers ‘longer term’ economic opportunities. Among the fans coming to Lexington for the national sporting event are likely numerous corporate leaders. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says it gives him a chance to sell the city to potential employers.
A new strategy in Lexington should eliminate ‘brown outs.’ To save money on staff, the city occasionally takes fire trucks out of service. It now has plans to temporarily restore some overtime pay and hire new employees. As a result, Assistant Fire Chief Harold Hoskins says they should have enough personnel to fully staff those trucks. “By the time that second class graduates from recruit training in November, mid November, we’re hoping before Thanksgiving, then our staffing numbers should be up enough to where we’ll be able to staff all our companies without overtime. So, between now and Thanksgiving we’re looking at overtime to fill the gaps,” said Hoskins.
College tournament basketball is off and running this week. For the first time in 68 years, Eastern Kentucky University has won a post season tourney game. E-K-U got a hard fought 69-62 victory over Gardner Webb last night in Boiling Springs North Carolina. The Colonels are competing in the College Insider dot com tournament. Eastern will learn later today who will be their next opponent.