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Falcons' Peters pulling for beloved Wildcats

4/3/2014

Corey Peters is proud to be a Wildcat.

The Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle and former three-year starter at the University of Kentucky carries plenty of school pride into this weekend’s Final Four.

Kentucky is one of the last teams standing along with Saturday’s opponent, Wisconsin, Florida and Connecticut.

``I’m ecstatic,’’ Peters said. ``I think I’m the only one in all of my pools that had them going this far. And I’ve got them winning it all. I’m excited about it. I’m a big basketball fan. I know the people up there are going crazy.’’

Peters made the trek to Indianapolis for last weekend’s Midwest Regional at Lucas Oil Stadium. The eight-seeded Wildcats defeated bitter rival and fourth-seeded Louisville, 74-69, then knocked off second-seeded Michigan, 75-72.

``I was behind the basket, pretty close,’’ Peters said. ``And the atmosphere was crazy, very loud. It was a very pro-Kentucky crowd, too. ’’

Kentucky’s run as been somewhat of a surprise considering the team is dominated by freshmen. Then again, the Wildcats were voted the preseason No. 1 team.

``I think Julius Randle is probably the most talented,’’ Peters said. ``But everybody has a role. And with those big shots at the end of the game, you can see their confidence continuing to grow. Right now, they are a very tough matchup for anybody.’’

Unfortunately, Peters didn’t get a chance to go in the locker room after the game, like Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers did with Wisconsin.

``I ain’t quite Aaron Rodgers,’’ Peters said with a laugh. ``But it was a great experience. I had a good time.’’

Peters was drafted in 2010, so he wasn’t in school for Kentucky’s national title in 2012. But he admired Wildcats coach John Calipari and his teams from afar.

``He’s always been a beast,’’ Peters said of Calipari. ``I’ve always been a fan of his, way back into the UMass days. I’m happy that he’s at Kentucky. And I’m looking forward to many more Final Four runs to come.’’