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Jeff Ruby: 'It's just incredible what they've done with their program'

By Morgan Eads Lexington Herald-Leader

LEXINGTON -- Cincinnati restaurant owner Jeff Ruby has said he'll buy 15,000 steak dinners, one for every student at Northern Kentucky University, should the school's basketball team topple the University of Kentucky Wildcats in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

The two Kentucky teams are scheduled to square off Friday night in Indianapolis. It will be the first time NKU plays in the tournament.

"It's just incredible what they've done with their program," Ruby said in a statement released Tuesday. "To climb into Division I and then make the tournament in their first year is unbelievable. I wanted to do something big to reward them -- what's better than offering a steak dinner to every student to celebrate a first round win?"

If the Norse beat the Wildcats, the cost of feeding each NKU student could be more than $1 million, according to the release.

"Yes, this could get very expensive," Ruby said in the statement. "But it's important to me to show support to our hometown organizations. NKU is a real asset to the community as they continue to produce extraordinary talented leaders for our region and beyond."

Ruby owns steakhouses in Cincinnati, Nashville and Louisville.

The Lexington Fire Department responded to Ruby's offer Wednesday in a tweet saying, "After #BBN big win Friday night @LexKYFire will give away & install smoke alarms to anyone in Fayette County."

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