Local collegiate apparel store gears up for UK in the NCAA tournament
Bowling Green is without a doubt Hilltopper Country, but the Big Blue Nation stretches across the state. Kentucky is the only team from the state to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament this year.
One local store realized that, and prepared accordingly.
"Football season we see a little more red but this time of the year it's definitely more blue," Alumni Hall store manager Andrea Petkovic said.
Kentucky was crowned Southeastern Conference tournament champions Sunday. On Monday, Alumni Hall was reaping the benefits of the win.
"Busier than what we would be on a Monday morning for sure," said one employee.
Alumni Hall at Greenwood Mall was the only place in Bowling Green to get the newest UK gear the day after the championship game.
"I've had quite a few fans (in the store)," Petkovic said. "We've also had quite a few phone calls from fans. I don't think a lot of people were expecting us to have the t-shirts so soon, but we got them fresh off the press this morning."
Employees said people had no idea the new SEC championship gear would be available in Bowling Green so quickly. Harrison Spires, Alumni Hall store key holder, said that as soon as the SEC title game was over Sunday, the shirts went to print.
"Our district manager brought us the shirts from Lexington this morning bright and early, and our dedicated team worked on putting them on hangers and checking them into our system ," Spires said.
Added Petkovic: "A lot of people were asking when we would get the t-shirts, so they weren't expecting me to tell them, 'Hey we already have them.' Some people have already purchased them over the phone and are picking them up. That's always an option."
UK students are on spring break this week, and for those that came home to Bowling Green, they were out to get their March Madness wardrobe ready.
"Gotta represent the Cats, especially if I'm here in Bowling Green over break," said Trajan Burton, a South Warren graduate and UK freshman who was shopping at Alumni Hall. "You gotta rock the blue when you can."
So what made the list of March Madness must-haves for students?
"Something with the new logo on it probably, gotta update the collection," Burton said.
"I really want a jersey, a jersey or a nice looking hat," added Brendon Meyer, a Bowling Green High alum and UK freshman who was also at Alumni Hall shopping.
Alumni Hall wasn't done stocking up on gear Monday. They said they were expecting Tuesday to get another style of championship shirt and hats. The managers say as far as March Madness goes, when the Cats win, they win.
"Fans love to come in right after we win a game and see if we have the shirts in, so the better (UK does) in the tournament, the better we do as a whole," Spires said.
The students said the Cats have been fun to follow all season long.
"We've had our ups and downs but it's been fun to watch the struggles of the team and watching them work through it," Burton said.
"It's like a relationship, you know, a love-hate relationship. You love it when they win and hate it when they lose," Meyer said.
Kentucky is scheduled to play Stony Brook at 8:40 p.m. Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.