The win for Louisville would have been an incredible victory in and of itself. Earning the distinction of only coach with two NCAA championships under his reign would have been doubly victorious. But these two accomplishments merely capped off Pitino’s glorious week. Five days prior to his emotion-filled acceptance of the championship medal, Pitino won another merit worthy of tears. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. “It’s a pretty special distraction,” Pitino reported at the Hall of Fame announcement in Atlanta, prior to watching his Cardinals clinch the win.* And boy, was it ever special. On Wednesday, a hall of fame induction, Monday night a national championship title, and Tuesday, a $425,000 bonus. Not a bad way to start off a Tuesday. Pitino has absolutely earned his keep this year, and if there ever was one shining moment for Rick Pitino, there is no doubt this is it.
*Quote reported by New York Times