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Rick Pitino freaks when he hears fireworks

Rick Pitino freaked out when he heard fireworks (aka confetti cannons) after Louisville beat Michigan 82-76 to win the national championship game.

It’s that sort of reaction time that keeps a man alive at war … or in the hood.

Below in GIF form:

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Rick Pitino morphed into a vampire

Rick Pitino vampire

Rick Pitino was looking rather, umm, pale, during the national championship game Monday, and the Internet took notice. The Louisville coach morphed into a vampire while witnessing Michigan’s explosive first half, leading to a solid meme:

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Rick Pitino calls Coach K the modern-day John Wooden

Rick Pitino Coach KRick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski may be in competition with each other, but they are also friends who have immense respect for one another.

The friendship between Pitino and Coach K began after their teams competed in the 1992 East Region finals of the NCAA tournament. Krzyzewski’s Duke squad beat Pitino’s Kentucky team 104-103 on Christian Laettner’s famous shot. The game is considered to be one of the best in college basketball history.

On Sunday their teams met in the regional finals, marking the first time the coaches have faced each other in the NCAA tournament since that game. Pitino’s Louisville squad got the best of Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils 85-63 to even things out between them.

Pitino and Krzyzewski had nothing but praise for each other before the game. Pitino, now the coach at Louisville, even called Coach K “the modern-day John Wooden.”

“He’s the modern-day John Wooden. He’s a true winner on and off the court,” Pitino said of Krzyzewski in an interview with CBS before the game.

“What I love about him, too, is that when he loses, he’s a gracious loser. He doesn’t give you the blow by handshake. He’ll stay there, he’ll congratulate you, he’ll praise you in the press conference. So he has it all together.”

Pitino expounded on their friendship while meeting with the media Saturday.

“We’ve been friends from that point on,” Pitino said, via The Lexington Herald-Leader. “Both of us looked at the game a lot different than the Kentucky fans or, for that matter, the Duke fans. Both of us just sat back and coached and watched an incredible offensive display.

“Any time you write a whole book about one game, it’s kind of special.”

Comparing someone to Wooden is about as strong of praise as you can get. Wooden won 10 national championships at UCLA and was considered to have character as strong as his coaching ability. But Coach K isn’t too far off from Wooden. He has reached eight championship games, won four national titles, and his 11 Final Four appearances are one shy of tying Wooden’s record 12. He’ll have to wait another year before having a chance to match Wooden.

Rick Pitino on Louisville loss: We shot free throws like Shaq and Dwight Howard

Louisville lost its second straight tough game in a row on Tuesday night, this time at the hands of Villanova. Over the weekend, the Cardinals lost a tough home game to No. 6-ranked Syracuse. However, the Wildcats are a team they should have beaten. Had they been more successful from the charity stripe, Rick Pitino’s team may have come away with a win.

Louisville hit only 12 of its 24 free throw attempts, and Pitino was livid about it after the game. So livid, in fact, that he decided to take it out on Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard.

“It was really a simple answer to why we lost,” Pitino told reporters, via the Courier-Journal. “Basically we were Dwight Howard or Shaquille O’Neal. We came down we had a six-point lead and it could have been eight. Could have kept coming down and extending it but our free throws were a turnover. Very simple answer for why we lost. Our foul shooting was despicable.”

The final score was 73-64, so obviously the free throws the Cardinals missed were crucial. Louisville missed the front end of a one-and-one on two occasions down the stretch, which made it incredibly difficult to close out a game that they led in the second half. At one point, forward Chane Behanan missed five free throws in a row.

The Cardinals has lost two games since being ranked No. 1 in the nation, and they have not gotten off to a good start in Big East play. If they don’t solve their free-throw shooting woes going forward, they’ll be in danger of falling even further.

Chest bump to The Dagger

Rick Pitino named his new horses after Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng

Most of us are familiar with Rick Pitino the championship-winning college basketball coach, but very few of us know Rick Pitino the horse enthusiast. Two of Pitino’s horses are currently being trained by thoroughbred trainer Randy Bradshaw, and he recently asked the Louisville coach for help in naming the pair of two-year-old colts. Natually, Pitino named them after his players.

“The Bellamy Road colt was a spectacular big, big colt,” Pitino said according to the Courier-Journal. “He was lanky, had great potential and goes the distance. I said I got the perfect name for him. I said ‘Gorgui.'”

Of course, Pitino is referring to his 6-foot-11 big man, Gorgui Dieng. He led the team in rebounds and set a school record for blocked shots in a single season. It sounds like he’s deserving of the honor, but don’t worry — Pitino didn’t forget about his back court.

“(The second horse is) very, very quick — has a great first step, so to speak,” Pitino explained. “I said I got the perfect name there, too.”

Pitino named the other horse “Siva,” after guard Peyton Siva. As you know, the Cardinals got hot at the right time last season and charged their way all the way to a Final Four appearance. Many great players have played under Pitino, but obviously this crew left a lasting impression. You don’t just going throwing names at your horses unless they mean something.

H/T Game On!
Photo credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Rick Pitino says he wants Kentucky to win national championship

So much for all the tension between Louisville and Kentucky. The Wildcats beat the Cardinals 69-61 Saturday to advance to the national championship game in New Orleans. After the loss, Louisville coach Rick Pitino said he was pulling for his in-state rival to win it all.

“I just said John [Calipari], `I’ll be pulling for you, bring the trophy back home to Kentucky. Sometimes there’s a lot of talk about these guys fighting, dialysis, there’s also really a lot of people that get along. … For those that have brains, they root for each other,” Pitino said.

“We like their basketball team; we hope they bring it home for the state.”

Whether he was being genuine is tough to say, but I don’t think he would have said that if he didn’t feel that way.

Louisville scored the first points of the game and that was the only time they led. Though they came within two with seven minutes left, Kentucky led by a comfortable margin most of the game. The Wildcats were simply the better team, and Louisville had no answer for Anthony Davis who went 7-8 for 18 points with 14 rebounds and five blocks. Not many teams have an answer for him; that’s why he was named the player of the year.

Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Rick Pitino may be the biggest Joe Lunardi fan in America (Video)

Louisville beat Seton Hall 61-55 in the second round of the Big East tournament Wednesday, hurting the Pirates’ chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Rick Pitino was asked about Seton Hall’s tournament chances after the game, and he said he’d go along with ESPN “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi, who, prior to the game, had the Pirates in the draw.

“I go by Joe Lunardi. Just listen to Lunardi, you’ll know who’s in and who’s out. He’s never wrong, he doesn’t have a life … that’s all he does with his life. On his tombstone, ‘I was a bracketologist, the best in America,'” Pitino said.

Speaking with other reporters after the game, it was more of the same praise from Pitino.

“I say this joking around. This guy Joe Lunardi has no agenda. How would you like to wake up in the morning and all you do is bracketology all day long? Can you imagine that? He doesn’t pay attention to his wife, he doesn’t pay attention to his children, all he does all night long is bracketology. So just follow him because his batting average is incredible.”

If Pitino goes along with whatever Lunardi says, then Seton Hall won’t make the tourney. In his updated brackets Wednesday, Lunardi listed the Hall among his first four teams out of the dance.