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When Megan Dills went to Bloomington, Ind., to watch her favorite team,â€ˆKentucky, play basketball in December, she never envisioned how that game would impact her life.
She was knocked down when Indiana fans stormed the court after the 73-72 victory and injured her ankle so severely that it caused her to miss work. However, the story was picked up not only nationally, but also internationally because she happened to also be a Playboy model.
Now she says thereâ€™s â€œprobably no wayâ€ she cannot be in Atlanta Friday when UKâ€ˆand Indiana play again â€” this time in the NCAA Tournament South Region.
â€œI am beyond words. I am so excited,â€ she said Sunday via telephone from her home in northern Kentucky. â€œI donâ€™t see how I could not go to the game. Iâ€ˆthink our boys are hot for this game and have hated watching that replay (on ESPN of the game-winning shot at Indiana by Christan Watford).
â€œI want them to smoke them. Not just win, but shut down Watford. I want to see Terrence Jones dunk on his head. That is what Iâ€ˆam envisioning. I am pumped. I do not want to say too much on Twitter or Facebook this week, but I am ready for that game now.â€
She says her fall at Indiana has led to a lot of â€œreally positive outcomes.â€ She was on a nationally syndicated show talking about the danger of fans storming the court. She went to Rupp Arena to write a column for the NationofBlue.com, an internet site devoted to UK sports, and had a story also appear on Playboyâ€™s website. Sheâ€™s been on various radio talk shows.
â€œI have a lot more friends in Big Blue Nation now. There are a lot more folks I associate with and meet for games,â€ Dills, who was in Louisville Saturday to watch Kentucky beat Iowa State while Indiana was eliminating Virginia Commonwealth in Portland, Ore.
â€œBut on the other hand, there are a lot of people who dislike me, including some Kentucky fan. Unfortunately, when you put Playboy with anything, thereâ€™s such a negative connotation for some.
â€œBut the hate has not overwhelmed the love and support.â€ˆIt has given me a platform where Iâ€ˆcan speak more vocally about our program and players. I never planned on this story going so big, but itâ€™s good that it did. It opened so many avenues for me, including going to Rupp Arena as a guest writer and seeing what all goes on behind the scenes.â€
Sheâ€™s currently working on a new reality show that is being filmed in Kentucky.
â€œI actually wore blue the first day we filmed because it was a Kentucky game day,â€ she said. â€œYou will definitely see me in blue and some 3 goggles up.â€
She expects to see a lot of blue in Atlanta Friday, too.
â€œI want our fans to come to Atlanta and show how a fan base is supposed to be and supposed to act. Iâ€ˆknow it will beÂ house of blue. We are going to take over the Georgia Dome,â€ Dills said. â€œIt would be easy for me to want to say and chant bad things at Indiana, but I wonâ€™t do that. Our boys will have our backs and take care of things on the court and we have enough dignity not to rush the court after beating Indiana.
â€œIâ€ˆhad an amazing time at Louisville Saturday. I didnâ€™t sit down. I was part of (Murray) Racer nation and was screaming so much that game Iâ€ˆalmost lost my voice before the Kentucky game. I was so proud of Murray, too, even though they lost (to Marquette).â€
She also enjoyed meeting two fans from Michigan who were in town on business and bought tickets to the game.
â€œThey had never seen anything like our fans and I got to tell them about all the mind-boggling parts of being a UK fan,â€ she said.
She admits fans sometimes now stop her because they recognize her and she has to re-tell the Indiana story.
â€œI have become so much aware of what happens when fans storm the court or field and how really dangerous it is,â€ Dills said. â€œMine was just a simple injury and some people, especially some Indiana fans, made fun of it. But our players, or even their players, on the court could have been hurt and a lot of them hopefully are going on to be pro players. But now all I want to see is our boys walking off the court with a win. That will mean a lot more than any December win.â€