Kentucky, like most American states, is big on sports.
The Bluegrass State, as it’s also called, is known for its horse racing, bluegrass music, and bourbon. Not to suggest that horse racing isn’t a sport – but apart from the aforementioned, sports run deep over there as KY is home to several professional and college teams. You’ll find some of the most passionate fans therein.
Basketball is by far the most popular sport in the state, with the University of Kentucky Wildcats one of the most successful basketball programs in the NCAA.
While basketball tops the list, it’s hardly the only sport enjoyed in KY. So let’s take a look at some of the disciplines that are the most loved where residents are concerned.
As mentioned above, basketball tops the list. It’s the most popular sport in Kentucky, as well as the most played.
The state has a rich basketball history and has produced some of the finest athletes we’ve ever seen grace the hardwood. The Wildcats boast eight national championships and 59 conference championships and remain one of the most formidable programs in the country.
The University of Louisville also has a strong Cardinals team boasting three national titles and 23 conference championships. The Louisville-Kentucky rivalry is one of the biggest in college basketball and remains the most highly-anticipated matchup among fans of both teams, though it is thought to be losing some ground.
While college basketball reigns supreme, it’s not the only tier closely followed. High school basketball is pretty big over there and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) holds a state tournament every year that generates plenty of buzz and brings in large crowds.
KY is also big when it comes to community basketball as many of its towns and cities host various tourneys all year.
Basketball viewership is quite high there too. Steaming data has shown that basketball is the most-streamed sport in KY and, with Kentucky sports betting a thing as of this month, a flurry of wagers can expect to be placed.
The Wildcats are currently 12/1 to win the national championship next March, though they will need to inspire some confidence after getting knocked out of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed in Round 1 the last time around.
Football is the most popular sport in the United States in general but takes a back seat to basketball in the Bluegrass State. Still, it is one of the most popular sports over there both on a pro and collegiate level.
The State has two college programs – the University of Kentucky Wildcats and the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers – both with very proud and passionate fan bases.
There are several high-school teams, as you would expect, with the KHSAA hosting an annual state championship game on that front too.
While KY does not have its own NFL teams, most residents support the Cincinnati Bengals, with the team right across the border in neighboring Ohio. The team has been on an upward trend over the last few years, having reached the Super Bowl last year and the AFC Championship Game in this one.
Baseball is another popular Kentucky sport boasting a rich history that stretches all the way back to the late 19th century. The state has been called home by a number of top baseball stars, including Pee Wee Reese and Jim Bunning, who are both Hall of Famers.
It’s also home to several minor league baseball teams such as the Louisville Bats and Lexington Legends. The Bats are a Triple-A affiliate of the MLB’s Cincinnati Reds and play at the Louisville Slugger Field, a venue that opened in 2000 and can seat over 13,000 fans.
The Legends are affiliated with the Kansas City Royals and play at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington.
The state is responsible for a number of successful high school baseball teams, the most popular being Trinity High School and St. Xavier High School in Louisville, as well as Lafayette High School in Lexington.
Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources “Joe Joe.” he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.