Sunday, March 11, 2012

SBz Legendz: Rick Patino Wins his 10th Conference Championship

By Jake Heston

Last night, Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals knocked off the Cincinnati Bearcats, 50 - 44, to win the Big East title, which makes it official: Rick Pitino has now won 10 conference championships as a head coach.

After the Cardinals victory over the Bearcats last night at MSG, 59-year-old Pitino was thrilled with the way his team performed.
"I think you can see how excited our guys are and how much the tournament means to us," Pitino said. "It's special because I love coaching these guys. We have a very unusual group. It's a throw back." via ESPN
After a great career of coaching stints at Boston University, Providence, Kentucky, and ever since at Louisville (not to mention stints with the Puerto Rican National team and the New York Knicks), Pitino has been named a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2012, and there is no doubt Pitino should be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. Here are a few of his accomplishments as a college coach:
  • 10x conference winner - 6 with Kentucky and 4 with L'ville
  • 5 Final 4 appearances - 1 with Providence, 3 with Kentucky, 1 with L'ville
  • 1 National title championship (with Kentucky in 1996, returned in '97 but lost to Arizona)
  • Career record of 258-99
L'ville will be going into the the NCAA Tourney as a 3 or 4 seed. It will be interesting to see if Pitino and NBA-bound star PG Peyton Siva, who nabbed the Big East Tourney MVP, can add onto Pitino's already legendary CV.

Jake Heston is on twitter @Jheston0p 

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