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History being made by Pitino
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 9, 2013 @ 12:00 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Mike Lopresti, USA TODAY Sports
ATLANTA – He had said that he didn’t want to think about what this history meant. The Louisville Cardinals’ sense of family and team was too strong for any of that nonsense.
He had said there was nothing significant if he should break new ground Monday night and win a national championship for a second school. “I’d be a total hypocrite if I said it’s really important,” Rick Pitino mentioned. “It really is not important.”
Oh yes it is.
It’s important because no one else has done it. Not Wooden. Not Krzyzewski. None of the giants, although Roy Williams came very close.
It’s important because the annals of the Final Four is richer for a story as ironic as this. That a man would take Kentucky to the top, and then return one day to take its most loathed neighbor to the same place. A double dose of magic in a basketball-crazed state.
It’s important because Rick Pitino is 60 and it is time to start thinking about legacy, whether he wants to or not. One national championship is hard. Two are exceptional. Two in different area codes are unheard of. Pitino has always cut an imposing figure in coaching, and today it is even larger.
And it’s important for the way it came, in a scintillating, nobody-would-say-uncle 82-76 championship game that did honor to the NCAA Tournament it concluded.
In the end, the hot-blooded college basketball regular season was not lying. This sport is at its best when chaotic, and so it was Monday night, to Michigan’s last gasp.
It was that way at halftime, when the Wolverines led 38-37, and the shootout had been between two subs – Spike Albrecht’s 17 for Michigan and Luke Hancock’s 16 for Louisville.
Together, they had 33 points. All the other names on the floor, the big and the small, had 42. Pitino’s renowned backcourt of Peyton Siva and Russ Smith was a combined 2-for-13, Smith’s game was so discombobulated as … [For more on Lopresti: History on his side, history being made by Pitino, click here.]
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