Pitino Blasts Selection Committee Over Louisville-Manhattan Pairing

Special to ZAGSBLOG

When Louisville was awarded the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region on Sunday evening, that struck many people as a surprise given the Cardinals have won 12 of their last last 13, including the American Athletic Conference Tournament.

Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino doesn’t have a problem with the seed. His problem lies with the fact that the seeding committee has his team playing 13th-seeded Manhattan, which is coached by former Cardinals assistant and Pitino disciple Steve Masiello.

“I think the pairings sometimes lack common sense,” Pitino said Wednesday in Orlando. “I don’t think they would put somewhere down the road Duke-North Carolina, so the matchups don’t make sense to me. I’m OK with the seedings. I’m not OK with the matchups.” To read more of this story, click here

Nate Silver Has Louisville Favored to Win NCAAs; Vegas Likes Florida, Michigan State

BracketsNate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com has Louisville as the favorite to cut down the nets again.

Silver’s computers give the defending NCAA champion Cardinals a 15 percent shot of winning it all for a second year in a row — this despite them being the No. 4 seed in the Midwest.

As far as Final Four participants, Silver picks Louisville out of the Midwest (38.1 percent), Florida out of the South (41.1 percent), Arizona out of the West (42.4 percent) and Michigan State out of the East (24 percent).

Also, here are the Odds to Win the Men’s Basketball Championship according to LVH – Las Vegas Superbook (via ESPN):

Florida 4-1

Michigan State 9-2

Arizona 6-1

Kansas 8-1

Wichita State 15-1

Virginia 15-1

Duke 15-1

Syracuse 15-1

Louisville 15-1

Wisconsin 20-1

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Pitino: ‘We’ll probably be a one seed’

PitinoAfter beating UConn to wrap up the American Athletic Conference tournament championship, Louisville coach Rick Pitino gave the Selection Committee a little something to think about.

“We’ll probably be a one seed,” Pitino said.

Pitino told ESPN’s Andy Katz that he thinks the Cardinals should be a No. 1 seed, but knows they probably won’t be. To read more of this story, click here

Pitino Feels a ‘Void’ Not Being at Big East Tourney

PitinoNEW YORK — In the last Big East Tournament to include original members Syracuse and UConn, it was a former Conference USA team that won the championship but left the nets hanging inside Madison Square Garden.

Rick Pitino’s Louisville team stormed back from a 16-point second-half deficit against Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse club and ended up crushing the Orange, 78-61.

The Big East as we knew it died that night, at 10:52 p.m. EST on March 17, 2013. To read more of this story, click here

Pitino Visits Stephen Zimmerman, Chase Jeter

PitinoLouisville head coach Rick Pitino visited Monday with Las Vegas Bishop Gorman 2015 big men Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter (pictured at left).

“It was the first we met him, so he just told us general things about the school and how he runs practices, coaches, etc.,” Kim Jeter, Chase’s mother, told SNY.tv. “Great visit!”

Kim said there was a “possibility” that the 6-foot-10 Chase could visit Louisville. He takes an unofficial to Arizona this weekend, and an official to Duke March 8 for the North Carolina game, the same weekend uncommitted 2014 big man Myles Turner visits. To read more of this story, click here

Kansas, Louisville Offer Justin Simon (UPDATED)


Special to ZAGSBLOG

Kansas is the latest school to offer Class of 2015 point guard Justin Simon after assistant Kurtis Townsend watched him play Tuesday night.

“An offer like that would mean a lot,” Simon told SNY.tv Monday night. “Just a program like that with that atmosphere and that pedigree, if they offer, it would be amazing.”

Louisville offered earlier this week.

“It’s really big for me,” the 6-foot-4 guard from Temecula Valley (Ca.) said. “This recruiting process is something that has been a dream come true for me.” To read more of this story, click here

Behanan Could Go to ACC, But Not AAC (UPDATED)

Junior forward Chane Behanan could transfer to an ACC school but not an AAC school if he opts to leave, Louisville sports information director Kenny Klein told SNY.tv.

“We are not trying to restrict his schools,” Klein said by email. “Coach [Rick] Pitino said that on Monday when talking about Chane. At the time, we were uncertain which transfer rules would apply. We would not restrict Chane from an ACC school, but his transfer would be affected under AAC policy. We would amend his release to reflect that as it is simply a misunderstanding to assure what rules prevailed.”

Louisville is currently in the AAC but joins the ACC next season, so ACC transfer rules don’t yet apply to the Cardinals.

Earlier Thursday, SNY.tv quoted a letter sent by John C. Carns, Louisville Senior Associate AD for Compliance, that said Behanan could not transfer to either the ACC or the AAC.

To read more of this story, click here

Louisville Dismisses Chane Behanan; Ware May Redshirt

Chane Behanan’s career at Louisville appears to be over.

Two days after Louisville lost to arch-rival Kentucky, the school announced that Behanan had been dismissed from the Cardinals’ basketball team for a violation of university policy

“We lost a really terrific man in many respects,” head coach Rick Pitino said at a press conference. “Away from the lines, he just did not do the right things, over and over and over. The university has gone to the mat for him, in giving him every opportunity to make it here. It’s come to a difficult detour in his road. It’s set our basketball team back immensely.” To read more of this story, click here

NBA Scout Breaks down Kentucky, Louisville Players (UPDATED)

I spoke with one veteran NBA scout who attended the Louisville-Kentucky game and here are his thoughts on a few key items and players.

On Julius Randle, who was forced to leave the game with cramps in the second half but looked dominant beforehand, going for 17 points: “He can score. He’s a beast inside. He’s hard to guard in college. He’s going to be guarded by the same size and more athletic guys in the NBA, but in college he’s unstoppable down there on the block. He’s gotta develop a mid-range game. He’s just not going to be able to bully his way to the rim at the NBA level every possession. Just keep driving left and driving left, spinning back left, they’re going to figure it out pretty quickly. He’s gotta develop a mid-range game, but as far as college he’s just a beast down there. You can’t guard him one-on-one in college.” To read more of this story, click here

26 NBA Personnel Expected at Louisville-Kentucky; Backcourt Matchup Will Be Key for Scouts

Twenty-six NBA personnel are expected at Saturday’s Louisville-Kentucky game, a school spokesman told SNY.tv.

The two teams feature five players projected by DraftExpress.com as 2014 first round picks — No. 2 Julius Randle (Kentucky), No. 9 Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky), No. 12 Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), No. 15 James Young and No. 30 Alex Poythress (Kentucky). Louisville’s Russ Smith is also projected as a second-round pick at No. 36.

As previously reported here, Kentucky freshmen guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison were recently moved to the 2015 Mock Draft by Draft Express, as was Kentucky big man Dakari Johnson. Louisville’s Wayne Blackshear is a projected second-round pick in 2015. To read more of this story, click here