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With Clinton watching, Louisville wins
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 14, 2013 @ 11:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Eric Prisbell, USA TODAY Sports
After Louisville soundly beat Villanova in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament, an unlikely visitor greeted the Cardinals in their locker room: Former President Bill Clinton.
Clinton, who had watched the game from his seat a few rows up near center court in Madison Square Garden, entertained the Cardinals with a variety of stories, coach Rick Pitino said, including some about Senegal, the home of center Gorgui Dieng.
Pitino said he and Clinton had met during Pitino’s tenure at Kentucky when Pitino introduced Clinton during the president’s visit to the school. Since then, Pitino said he and Clinton have been “very friendly toward each other.”
“Our guys had a big treat,” Pitino said. “President Clinton came back to say hello. We got a chance to take a lot of pictures. It was a big treat for our guys … He was telling a lot of stories, not only about basketball, but about Senegal, where Gorgui is from. He is a walking encyclopedia.”
Clinton watched the Cardinals create havoc defensively throughout their 74-55 victory over Villanova. They forced 25 turnovers, and Pitino said his team had 58 deflections in the game.
“We had 38 deflections at halftime,” Pitino said. “That has never happened in my 80 years of coaching.”
Louisville advanced to Friday’s semifinals to play the winner of the Notre Dame-Marquette game.
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