Rick Pitino rips selection committee

Updated: March 20, 2014, 11:22 AM ET
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Louisville coach Rick Pitino says he has no problem with his team's NCAA tournament seeding. It was the pairing that drew his ire.

Pitino criticized the selection committee Wednesday for pitting the fourth-seeded and defending champion Cardinals against 13th-seeded Manhattan, which is coached by former Pitino assistant Steve Masiello.

Louisville and Manhattan open tournament play Thursday night in the Midwest Region.

"I think the pairings sometimes lack common sense," Pitino said. "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.

Pitino I think the pairings sometimes lack common sense. Maybe [the selection committee is] a bunch of soccer ADs? I don't know.

-- Louisville coach Rick Pitino

"But the selection committee is very fair, very honorable, very honest people, so I can't protest too much because they're doing the best job that they can do. Maybe they're a bunch of soccer ADs? I don't know."

Masiello served as a ball boy with the New York Knicks when Pitino was coach in the 1980s, played for him at Kentucky (1996-97) and then spent another six years coaching alongside him at Louisville (2005 to 2011). They know each other quite well, and Masiello is molding the Jaspers in the Cardinals' image.

Pitino said the matchup is tougher than when Louisville was paired against Florida and coach Billy Donovan, who also played and coached for Pitino, in a 2012 regional final.

"We press like him, we trap like him, his offensive sets are just like ours," Pitino said of Masiello. "That's why I don't like the game. I don't think it's fair. I don't like it. I don't know why they would do it.

"I just don't like the game at all, for either one of us. We won the national championship and obviously we're more heralded, but this is anybody's game. This is not a 1-16."

Masiello was equally disappointed with the pairing.

"To see them come up and then see us come up against them, it takes a little fun out of it," he said. "It's just, that's not fun for me going against someone that I have to now try to beat, and almost in my mind, think negatively about. It's hard for me to do that."


Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.