The dust has settled and the Louisville Cardinals have had two full days to bask in the glory of their first national title since 1986. Things haven’t been this good for Louisville basketball since Jay Bilas was blowing the title game for the Dookies back in ’86.
But in true Cardinal fashion, things haven’t gone all that smoothly. In fact, things started falling apart as soon as the game was over. Let’s take a look at how Little Brother handled wearing the big boy pants for the first time in over two decades.
1. Rick Pitino Has a ‘Nam Flashback
Always the picture of class (cough, cough, sarcasm, cough, cough) Rick Pitino started walking toward Michigan Wolverine coach John Beilein to shake his hand and wish him well as the game came to it’s conclusion. Everything looked like it was going according to plan until this happened:
Poor Rick. He was so caught up in the moment that the sudden explosion of fireworks had him reacting like Charlie Sheen in the first major combat scene in Oliver Stone’s Platoon. This was purely accidental, so we will give him a pass. But it was hilarious none-the-less.
2. Rick Promises to Get Tatted
As the Cards were center court and front stage, Jim Nantz handed the mic over to Rick. Pitino then announced to the entire country that he promised his team that he would get a tattoo to commemorate the 2013 championship if they won. Well, Pitino is a man of his word (again, cough, cough) and will get inked up. I’m curious as to which tattoo parlor in Louisville Pitino will visit. Tattoo Charlie’s? Body Art Emporium? I doubt it. I am sure T-Will knows a guy that will do Coach P. up the right way.
3. Rick Pitino‘s Hyperbole Strikes Again
This never gets old. Pitino is famous for sticking his foot in his mouth and over-exaggerating everything under the sun. Nothing has changed as Rick made a bold proclamation that made most Kentucky fans scratch their heads. After winning, Pitino declared that his current squad is the toughest team that he has ever coached.
I’ll give it to them; they are a gritty group that has some extremely endearing individual stories, but the talent is there and it’s not like they were underdogs. Quite the opposite; they were the favorites to win and the overall #1 seed.
Do you know when the talent wasn’t there? In 1992 when Pitino was coaching a group of Kentucky players that would be known as The Unforgettables. Pitino took a group of throw aways from the Eddie Sutton era and coached them to an Elite Eight where they went toe-to-toe with powerhouse Duke in the greatest college basketball game ever played. Read Gene Wojciechowski’s The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball if you don’t believe me.
I know Pitino loves this team and he should; but how could he forget the team that put him on the map?