For the second year in a row, a Big East tournament champion has made a run to the Final Four. Instead of it being the Connecticut Huskies, it’s the Louisville Cardinals. Rick Pitino has done an unbelievable coaching with a team that I didn’t think and still don’t think is that good!
The Cardinals have played a suffocating defense throughout their first four tournament games. While their opponents have averaged a combined 74.75 ppg throughout the regular season, they have allowed opponents to score 57.5 ppg. Great defense is the sign of a championship team, even though that’s not always the case in college sports, unless it’s football. But this just goes to show that Pitino is one of the greatest college coaches, ever. His career record is 616-227 with four Elite Eight’s, now four Final Fours, a national runner-up, and one national championship. Pitino has been a master-mind on the defensive end. His team isn’t that big (average height is 6’3 of guys that play the majority of the minutes), but they play in the passing lanes and contest just about every shot.
There is nothing flashing about Louisville. Sometimes their games are hard to watch because their offense isn’t anything spectacular. They score 68 ppg and shoot only 31% from three. They don’t have the greatest athletes, or really any athletes for that matter. They have won with defense and timely shooting.
Getting stops at the most critical times in a game is what Louisville has done. Boy, I would love to see a Louisville/Kentucky game in the Final Four.
I am pulling for Louisville.