Pitino, ’87 Providence Final Four Team To Be Honored

by Rick Howlett on January 9, 2012

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team returns to action tomorrow evening at Providence College.

This particular trip to Rhode Island will be a special one for U of L coach Rick Pitino.

It’s been 25 years since Pitino coached Providence to its improbable run to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.

Pitino had left his job as a New York Knicks assistant to take over the flagging Providence program the previous season.

Led by Billy Donovan and Delray Brooks (pictured, from left, with Pitino)  and using the newly-allowed three point shot, Pitino’s lightly-regarded Friars knocked off Alabama and Georgetown to reach the national semifinals, where they were eliminated by Syracuse.

It put Providence and Pitino on the college basketball map.

“I have always coached every time out, no matter how much time is left in the game, feeling we could come back, no matter what the level was, or the score was, all because of that Providence College basketball team. Because they set the standard, not only for comebacks, but they set the standard for just making me believe that anything is possible,” Pitino said today.

Providence captured its Final Four birth in Louisville’s Freedom Hall.

To mark the anniversary, Providence will honor Pitino and his former players during a halftime ceremony.

As for the 13-3 Cards, they’re coming of a double-overtime loss to Notre Dame and are 1-2 in Big East play. The Friars are 11-6 overall but still looking for their first conference victory.

(Photo from AP/Ron Kozloff)

Comments Closed

Previous post:

Next post: