St. Patrick's Day will be celebrated in downtown Lexington on Saturday with the Shamrock Shuffle 3K race in the morning, a parade in the afternoon, and the cutting down o' the nets by the Trinity Shamrocks in Rupp Arena that night.
OK, it's a bunch of blarney to try to predict what's going to happen in the Sweet Sixteen, but the coaches in the 95th PNC/KHSAA State Tournament agree that Trinity may be a giant among leprechauns.
Scott County and Bullitt East are rated as the Shamrocks' main challengers, but there's no doubt who's No. 1 going into the four-day shootout.
"Trinity is a huge favorite," said Bullitt East Coach Troy Barr, whose team faces the Shamrocks in Wednesday's first round. "They're like a small-college team. They've got all the pieces.
"They've got a great coach, they're athletic, they've got a bunch of guys who can score, and their defense is phenomenal. Every possession is a battle with them."
Trinity's only loss to a Kentucky team was to Madison Central, 78-77, in the Joe B. Hall Prep Classic at Montgomery County in mid-January. Clark County Coach Scott Humphrey was at that game, and he said he left "more convinced than ever that Trinity was head and shoulders the best team in the state.
"Madison Central was incredibly prepared, they played great, their guards were outstanding, and nothing went Trinity's way. And Madison Central still just won by one."
Trinity, which is trying to become the first school to win state football and basketball titles in the same school year, is stocked with talent.
Nathan Dieudonne, a 6-foot-7 senior, signed with Boston University. Point guard Charles Foster signed with Morehead State. Troy Saxton is headed for Alabama-Huntsville. Darryl Hicks, a 6-4 junior, has offers from Indiana and Arizona. And junior James Quick, a star wide receiver in football, will have his pick of Division I schools.
Shamrocks Coach Mike Szabo knows he has a championship-caliber team and is confident it won't be adversely affected by the Sweet Sixteen hoopla in Rupp Arena.
"I really don't think the environment will impact these guys very much," he said. "I think it's going to make them play even better."
Szabo doesn't think the pressure of being No. 1 will cause his players any discomfort, either. "Not this group," he said. "They're loose, confident and they make it fun."
But Scott County Coach Billy Hicks said it's not easy handling high expectations. His Cardinals had to cope with them on the way to the 2007 state title.
"Believe me, you don't want to be the favorite. It puts a target on your back. The emotion, the crowd, all of it plays a big factor. Everybody loves the underdog. Nobody's cheering for you if you're supposed to win."
Just last year, Louisville Eastern, with four Division I players in its lineup, was rated No. 1 and was supposed to roll through Rupp. But Christian County upset the Eagles in the semifinals and went on to win the title.
Szabo knows his team will face challenges as it tries to win the school's first basketball championship. Trinity's first-round matchup is against Bullitt East. The Chargers return key players Derek Willis, Trey Rakes and Rusty Troutman from last year's state semifinalists.
"They're very solid, an excellent team," Szabo said. "They have a great point guard (Rakes), a great big man (Willis) and a great small forward (Troutman)."
Bowling Green Coach D.G. Sherrill said "a lot of people think the Trinity-Bullitt East game will be for the state championship."
Bullitt East figures to have the crowd on its side, not only because it'll be the underdog, but also because it has a future University of Kentucky player in Willis, a 6-foot-9 junior who has committed to the Cats.
Rowan County might be another threat to Trinity in the upper bracket. It returns Adam Wing, D.J. Townsend and Jason Egan from last year's state runner-up team.
"I think that experience has to help us," Vikings Coach Shawn Thacker said.
Hopkinsville also could be a sleeper in the upper bracket. The Tigers are young but talented and have won more games (32) than anybody in the tournament.
Scott County is in the bottom bracket and favored to get to Saturday night's finals. The Cards are led by senior stars Tamron Manning and Isaiah Ivey, who played in the 2010 Sweet Sixteen.
Bowling Green and Marshall County don't have high profiles, but they could play the role of spoiler in the bottom bracket.
There are three schools in the field that have won state titles: Clark County (1951), Hopkinsville (1985) and Scott County (1998, 2007).
Oldham County brings the longest winning streak (16 games) to town. Trinity has won 14 in a row.