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ESPN imagines what college basketball would be like if Pitino never left Kentucky


ESPN messed up with this graphic during Romeo Langford’s high school game on Thursday, which prompted ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan to wonder what life in college basketball would be like if Rick Pitino was still the coach at Kentucky, an especially fitting topic given tomorrow’s showdown in Louisville. Brennan says not only would Pitino have a lot more career wins — maybe creeping up on Coach K’s total — but several career paths would be altered, including Tubby Smith, Billy Gillispie, and John Calipari’s; however, Brennan argues the biggest ramification of Pitino staying at UK might have been on the rivalry with Louisville. I’ll let him explain.

Whatever its other effects, Pitino’s decision to leave Kentucky got him, one way or the other, to Louisville. Where, aided by history, boosted by Calipari’s eventual arrival in the state, and driven by UK fans’ sense of deep personal betrayal, Pitino’s career trajectory sparked a gloriously hateful flame on perhaps the best rivalry in college sports. Both on and off the floor, in the modern game, there’s nothing quite like UL vs. UK.

That is certainly true, although I don’t agree with all of Brennan’s hypothetical conclusions. Regardless, check them all out at the link below.

[No one-and-done craze? No Dunk City? Some of what might have been if Rick Pitino stayed at Kentucky]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

5 Comments for ESPN imagines what college basketball would be like if Pitino never left Kentucky

  1. sincitycat
    5:07 pm December 20, 2016 Permalink

    Maybe Petrino would be our football coach…no thank you.

  2. Bluebloodtoo
    5:11 pm December 20, 2016 Permalink

    Ummm… this story might have been interesting when BCG was still here. Now it just seems like a writer needed a story so he made up this nonsense.

  3. UK Big Bored Update
    5:55 pm December 20, 2016 Permalink

    Given all the SH*T he’s pulled…….beginning with going to uavel in the first place… all the STD and assistant coach/Karen Sypher/ Insurance (abortion) crap…..the “lack of control” – which we all know is impossible – but permitted years of HOOKERS in Minardi Hall………and getting rid of the kid, Kevin Ware, who essentially helped uavel win the NCAA tournament from a mental/rally perspective……HELL NO! Rick Pitino did a lot for KENTUCKY. I will never forget that. But – He left. He is like an ex-wife. Good riddance.

  4. jonthes
    6:42 pm December 20, 2016 Permalink

    No ’98 title. Pitino would NOT have won a title with that team. In fact he left because he knew where was no major NBA talent on the team.

  5. matt3480
    7:18 pm December 20, 2016 Permalink

    Seems a bit of an alternate take on Bill Simmons article about Boogie going to the Celtics, which was much better done…. Bones are there for a good story just should have been presented a bit better