Tonight I'm following a mini-max strategy. I'm pulling for the team/coach I dislike least (UofL/Pitino). From the Daily Fix:
The matchup between Louisville and Tennessee comes lots of talk about the men on the sidelines: the Cardinals’ Rick Pitino and the Volunteers’ Bruce Pearl.
In the Lexington Herald-Leader, John Clay wants to see Mr. Pearl clad entirely in orange (”like one big Valencia”) and Mr. Pitino in Colonel Sandersesque white head to toe.
“Here’s Pitino, who resurrected Kentucky basketball in the 1990s by employing a pressing, up-tempo style mixed with master marketing and sideline theatrics,” he writes. “Here’s Pearl, who has resurrected Tennessee basketball by employing a pressing, running, up-tempo style, mixed with master marketing and sideline theatrics.”
Over to the Louisville Courier-Journal, where Eric Crawford has the benefit of six years covering Mr. Pearl and seven covering Mr. Pitino, and says in some ways the two are quite different.
“After a win, Pitino is apt to head out to an upscale eatery such as Porcini,” he writes. “I went looking for Pearl after the University of Kentucky game in Knoxville last season, and he already had changed into a cabana shirt and was hanging out with a crowd of boosters. … Here’s where they are similar. Both are willing to adapt their personal styles to give themselves a chance to win. Both are driven by an other-worldly work ethic. Both are big believers in creating momentum and using it to their advantage, and in having their teams apply pressure rather than react to it. And both are marvelous motivators.”