Fireworks provide the ultimate Rick Pitino punchline after Louisville wins national title

Posted: 04/08/2013 in college basketball
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rick Pitino learns he’s headed to the Hall of Fame in the morning and wins the NCAA title at night.

Then he reveals afterward that he agreed to get a tattoo if Louisville won the national crown.

I’m guessing that tattoo won’t be of Karen Sypher, the now-jailed woman involved in the scandalous late-night 15-second sex session with a married Pitino at a restaurant in 2003. All the details of the salacious affair came out at an extortion trial, an embarrassing sordid tale that has continued to make Pitino an easy punchline.

Want to know my initial thought when the fireworks went off after Louisville’s 82-76 victory over Michigan when Pitino frantically ducked?

Mike Sullivan@MrSportsBlog

Pitino ducked pretty fast when he heard that explosion — kind of as his worst nightmare came true … Karen Sypher with a gun.

Pitino does happen to be one heck of a basketball coach and his Cardinals were stellar over the final stretch of the season, winning their final 16 games to earn the title in an exciting contest with the Wolverines.

The gruesome broken leg suffered by guard Kevin Ware in the Elite Eight made Louisville the preferred storyline and the Cardinals had to overcome a 12-point deficit in the championship game.

Luke Hancock scored 22 points and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, Peyton Siva had 18 points and Chane Behanan contributed 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Michigan got a fine effort from National Player of the Year Trey Burke, who scored 24 points, and a stunning performance from backup Spike Albrecht, who scored 17 points. Albrecht had never scored more than seven in a college game before a strong showing on college basketball’s biggest stage.

The exciting pace of the game – there were even a couple dunks of the Florida Gulf Coast variety – and competitiveness made the final one of the best in recent years. And Pitino certainly outcoached Michigan counterpart John Beilein, who wasted countless seconds on multiple occasions late in the game by failing to have the right personnel in the contest when the Wolverines needed to foul.

The title victory capped a superb last 10 days for Pitino, who also recently found out he will have a horse – named Goldencents – in the Kentucky Derby.

Hall of Fame, national championship, first-ever tattoo, horse in Kentucky Derby, his 30-year-old son landing the Minnesota job … and oh, Pitino is the first coach to lead two different schools to a national title. He won with Kentucky in 1996.

Hey, that might be the thing Pitino smiles about most. The Kentucky (basketball) Derby was pretty one-sided this season, wasn’t it?

John Calipari’s Kentucky team didn’t even crack the 68-team NCAA field. Meanwhile, Pitino is walking off the court as a champion.

Hmmm … maybe that tattoo will be of a frowning Calipari.

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