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ESPN’s Dick Vitale kisses Ashley Judd on the mouth before Kentucky game

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Dick Vitale, the college basketball commentator well-known by sports fans for his “awesome, baby” routine, had what many considered an awkward moment with a celebrity fan before Kentucky’s victory over Arkansas in the SEC tournament.

Prior to the game Vitale talked with actress Ashley Judd, a Kentucky graduate, before giving her a kiss on the mouth.


The moment was captured on camera, and even shared by the school athletics’ photo department Twitter account.

The picture then went viral, and was picked up by many outlets, including the Washington Post and USA Today.

Some saw the moment as innocent, an example of Vitale’s outgoing persona. Others saw it as a cheap move, including this commentary by the Chicago Tribune’s Shannon Ryan. 

Judd at least appeared to be a good sport about the incident. Vitale shared another photo on Instagram of Judd kissing him on the cheek, with a caption that read in part, “Eat ur heart out guys.”

View this post on Instagram

Eat ur heart out guys / She loves KENTUCKY !

A post shared by Dick Vitale (@dickiev_espn) on

Judd also tweeted, “I think both @DickieV & I are feeling the crazy joy of @marchmadness & the greatness of this KY team.”

The Kentucky Wildcats claimed a No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA tournament, and finished the regular season undefeated.

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