Home Breaking News Rick Pitino is back in the NCAA Match – with the Iona...

Rick Pitino is back in the NCAA Match – with the Iona Gaels

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Rick Pitino is back in the NCAA Match – with the Iona Gaels

, USA TODAY
Published 6: 14 p.m. ET March 13, 2021 | Updated 6: 20 p.m. ET March 13, 2021

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Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is heading back to the NCAA Match for the first time since he lost his high-profile job at Louisville four years in the past. 

Pitino, now the head coach at Iona, piloted the Gaels (12-5) to a Metro Atlantic Athletic Match final victory, defeating Fairfield 60-51 on Saturday to receive the MAAC’s automated explain and be amongst the 68 teams location to play in Indianapolis subsequent week.  

Iona finished in third blueprint in the traditional season, going 6-3 in league play. The Gaels had higher than a month of postponements due to COVID-19, now not playing all of January. Pitino modified into once one of the outspoken coaches serious of the NCAA for starting the season in gradual November amid the height of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Pitino is coaching at a mid-principal college and now not a power convention, but he inherited a correct program that had reached the previous four NCAA Tournaments below frail coach Tim Cluess.

Iona becomes the fifth college Pitino has ended in the NCAA Match, tying him with Lon Kruger and Stout Smith. The others are Boston University, Windfall, Kentucky and Louisville.

The 68-twelve months-former coach, who guided Louisville and Kentucky to national championships during his four-a long time-prolonged college basketball coaching occupation, remaining coached in the NCAA Match in 2017 when the Cardinals were upset in the 2nd round by Michigan.

Pitino has spent 30 seasons coaching college basketball but modified into once fired as Louisville’s coach in 2017 amid a pay-for-play plot with a recruit. He guided Kentucky to a national title in 1996 and Louisville to a championship in 2013. Nevertheless a intercourse-for-pay scandal compelled his Cardinals to vacate their title.

During his time remote from the NCAA, Pitino spent the previous twelve months coaching Panathinaikos B.C. in Greece, the place he guided the knowledgeable crew to a Greek Cup remaining twelve months.

Comply with college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson

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Rick Pitino is back in the NCAA Match – with the Iona Gaels