Pitino Bowl tips off NCAA hoops season for Gophers, Louisville

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The long wait for the 2014-15 NCAA men's basketball season is finally over. The unranked Minnesota Golden Gophers take on the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals in the Armed Forces Classic in Puerto Rico tonight at 6:30 p.m.

The Gophers, led by head coach Richard Pitino, will begin his second season at Minnesota with a game against his father, Rick Pitino. Tonight's stage is an airplane hangar at a United States Coast Guard base in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; it will likely be brighter than the last stage the Gophers last played on – Madison Square Garden in the N.I.T. Championship Game.

Why brighter? It's father versus son and on ESPN.

If Minnesota pulls the upset, Richard will probably be satisfied to watch his father become a maniac.

“He’s a maniac after losses," Richard said of his father, according the Star Tribune.

Even though the spotlight will be on the father-son relationship, the elder Pitino says tonight's game isn't about them.

"I look down at the other end of the bench and I see him and I just have great pride in the fact that he's a Big Ten coach," Pitino said, via Fox Sports North. "But we both know that this is Minnesota vs. Louisville. It's not a father-son matchup."

Louisville's big gun is one of the most dangerous players in college basketball. 6-foot-8 junior forward Montrezl Harrell could have been a first-round draft pick last year, but he decided to return for another year. Here's how the Associated Press' preseason All-American team member is described at NCAA.com.

"An athletic, 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, Harrell was a handful for opposing teams last season, averaging 14 points and 8.4 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the floor. After bypassing a shot at the NBA, he spent the offseason working on his midrange game, making him even tougher to stop."

Gophers forward Joey King will be charged with the task of defending Harrell.

But even with an All-American player and the No. 8 ranking in the country, Rick Pitino doesn't look at his team as a big favorite over Minnesota.

"Like Richard said, they're preparing to win; we're preparing to win," he said, according the Pioneer Press. "We know we could lose this game if we don't play well."

If the Gophers do win, Richard joked that he would "buy the whole island."

The game tips off at 6:30 p.m.

Next Up

Brian O'Neill, Vikings-Saints

Matthew Coller: Should the Vikings have any offseason regrets?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

baby richard

Given 0% chance to live, Baby Richard celebrates 1st birthday, earns world record

He was born in Minneapolis and spent his first 6 months in the NICU at Children's Minnesota.

Facebook screengrab - ANdrew welcome home Dover

Watch: Community's big welcome home to 11-year-old after heart transplant

Andrew Iseminger has been away from his Minnesota home for more than six months.

police lights

Woman, 69, killed in two-car crash on Iron Range

The State Patrols says the victim had been at a stop sign, and pulled onto a highway.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Chaska man identified as motorcyclist killed in Maple Grove crash

Ryan Richard Schmiesing was killed Monday after a vehicle struck his motorcycle.

Dayne Sitladeen

Canadian rapper wanted for murder pleads guilty to possessing 67 guns in MN

Dayne Adrian Sitladeen pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Wednesday.

U.S. district court minnesota - federal court

Charges: Red Lake man with knife sexually assaulted victim

He's also charged with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Jose Berrios

Report: Twins could be 'aggressive sellers' ahead of trade deadline

José Berríos and Nelson Cruz could be in high demand in the coming weeks.

Screen Shot 2021-06-22 at 7.49.39 PM

Why the Timberwolves haven't lost the D'Angelo Russell trade...yet

The Wolves' offseason got more challenging but not impossible.

Pixabay - water surface

2-year-old dies a week after being pulled from Ham Lake pond

The boy had been at Lions Park with family and friends.

Facebook - Dinosaur Drive-Thru image

50 animatronic dinosaurs to take over Mall of America parking lot

Dinosaur Drive-Thru opens June 24 and runs through July 11.

Related