Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shockers don't surprise Pitino

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When the NCAA Tournament field was announced a couple weeks ago, Louisville coach Rick Pitino wasn't a whole lot different from millions of other fans.

He started poring over the bracket for potential upsets.

His eyes quickly settled on Wichita State.

"I was talking with my son," Pitino said Monday, "and I said I thought Wichita State had a great chance of being a surprise team to the Final Four. He asked me, 'Which teams would you think?' I said VCU and Wichita State. … I was very impressed with them."

Now, Pitino will have to figure out a way to beat them.

To get their first national championship since 1986, his top-seeded Cardinals have to get by a Wichita State team Saturday night that blitzed through Pittsburgh, knocked off another No. 1 seed in Gonzaga and ousted second-seeded Ohio State to reach the Final Four.

"Each game," Pitino said, "they looked better and better."

Pitino said there are some similarities between the Shockers and the Providence team that he led to the Final Four in 1987.

"I guess you would consider both Cinderella teams, but Wichita State has much more talent than we had at Providence," Pitino said of a Friars team that featured a young Billy Donovan.

RATINGS UP: Ratings for the region semifinals and finals were up 13 percent from last year. The games on CBS and TBS averaged a 7.0 rating and 14 share, up from a 6.2/12 last season. Ratings measure the percentage of American homes with televisions tuned into a program. Shares represent the percentage of those with TVs in use at the time.

REFS CHOSEN: The NCAA announced the pool of 10 officials who will work the Final Four. John Cahill, Tony Greene, Karl Hess, Lee Jones, John Higgins, Randy McCall and Mark Whitehead have all officiated Final Fours. Mike Eades, Doug Simmons and Terry Wymer will have a chance to work their first semifinal or championship game.


Final Four

Saturday, Georgia Dome, Atlanta

TV/radio: Ch. 10; 98.7-FM

Wichita State vs. Louisville, 6:09 p.m.

Syracuse vs. Michigan, about 8:49 p.m.

National championship

Wichita State/Louisville vs. Syracuse/Michigan, 9:21 p.m. Monday. TV/radio: Ch. 10; 98.7-FM

Shockers don't surprise Pitino 04/01/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 1, 2013 10:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.
  5. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.