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Police say it's ready to handle mayhem

A day after raucous celebrations led to more than two dozen arrests, police said it's ready to control crowds near the University of Kentucky's campus when the Wildcats play Kansas tonight for the national title.

Several hundred officers will be out in force tonight to help keep order, Lexington Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts told the Associated Press on Sunday.

"We're prepared," she said. "We expect a majority of people to obey the law."

Police plan a few adjustments from Saturday, when thousands of fans spilled onto Lexington streets after UK defeated cross-state rival Louisville in New Orleans. Fans torched couches and overturned a car before setting it ablaze.

Roberts said police did a good job getting rowdy fans under control. Officers arrested 27 on minor charges such as disorderly conduct and alcohol intoxication.

Police who had braced for the possibility of postgame violence resorted to pepper spray, though large amounts weren't needed before officers ultimately began dispersing the throngs.

Lexington Fire Department Battalion Chief Ed Davis said there weren't any arson arrests. Police were still searching for the person who set the car on fire.

NO GRUDGE: Most fans assumed Kentucky F Terrence Jones was off to the NBA after coach John Calipari's withering, 30-second tirade filled with cringe-inducing expletives was caught by cameras in a game last season.

Calipari apologized publicly, Jones stayed and the bond between the two is so tight now, the sophomore calls his coach a "father figure."

"He's been tough on me since I first got here. It's just because he expects a lot from me. I know he loves me. I know how good he thinks I am, how much he believes in me," Jones said. "When he doesn't see how he thinks I can perform, he tells me. He's a male father figure to me.

"So it's tough love sometimes. Sometimes it's good love. I take it all in the same way. I don't care how he says it; I just listen to what he's saying."

COACHING AWARD: Kansas is guaranteed to leave New Orleans with at least one trophy.

Bill Self was selected the Naismith coach of the year, beating out Calipari. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and Missouri's Frank Haith also were finalists for the award, given by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

"He's a great teacher," Kansas G Tyshawn Taylor said. "He helps us all understand the game, understand how he wants us to play for us to be successful."

GUEST APPEARANCE: Hall of Famer Larry Brown, the only coach to win NCAA and NBA titles, has been hanging around Allen Fieldhouse the past few weeks and was front and center in the Kansas section when the Jayhawks upset North Carolina to win the Midwest Region last weekend in St. Louis.

Brown, 71, also has dropped in at Villanova, Maryland and Kentucky.

"He's unemployed," Self said, drawing laughs, when asked what his mentor is doing.

Brown coached KU to the 1988 national title.

NO SECOND FIDDLE: Monday night's game will be the second time this season Kentucky and Kansas meet with all of college basketball watching.

The first matchup was in mid November at Madison Square Garden as part of a doubleheader. Second-ranked Kentucky beat No. 12 Kansas 75-65, but it wasn't the featured game.

That happened to be the night Duke beat Michigan State 74-69 to give Mike Krzyzewski his 903rd coaching victory, moving him past mentor Bob Knight to the top of Division I's all-time list for men's basketball.

MISS. STate HIRES COACH: Mississippi State hired Clemson assistant Rick Ray to be its coach, replacing the retired Rick Stansbury. Ray, 40, has been the top assistant at Clemson for the past two seasons.

Police say it's ready to handle mayhem 04/01/12 [Last modified: Sunday, April 1, 2012 10:22pm]
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