Sep 27, 2011, 7:53 PM EDT
Big East realignment brings out the best in its basketball coaches. And by best, I mean delightfully angry quotes.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was at his cantankerous best when news emerged that the Orange were headed to the ACC. But Louisville’s Rick Pitino is taking things to another level. And not just in his blog.
First he dropped some “Godfather” references. Then he questioned the ACC’s obvious jealousy of the Big East. And now he’s going scorched Earth on Connecticut for wanting to leave the Big East for the ACC. Probably should’ve seen that coming, too. The Huskies are openly campaigning for an ACC spot.
Anyway, this is from Adam Zagoria:
“I almost went to Connecticut, it was Connecticut or UMass,” the Louisville coach said. “I remember when they were struggling to win the Yankee Conference. In all of sports, the greatest building job I’ve seen in my life was done at Connecticut. The Big East has taken them from a Yankee Conference school” to where they are now.
“With that being said, how can you want to leave? Why would you want to leave? My biggest mistake I made in my life is when I left Camelot [Kentucky]” to lead the Boston Celtics in 1997. “They’re leaving Camelot. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
In just 10 sentences, Pitino praises UConn (read: Jim Calhoun) for the remarkable rise of Husky hoops in the last 25 years and offers a self-deprecating reference before finishing with the quote that’ll resonate among college hoops coaches, fans and officials everywhere: “dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
That scorn is reserved for UConn, too. Pitino actually tries to empathize with Pitt and Syracuse. UConn? Not so much.
Can’t wait to see what happens when the Big East admits Central Florida for its football needs…
- Jim Boeheim backs off initial irritation, warms up to ACC
- Moving to ACC won’t derail Pitt’s hoops success
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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