Rick Pitino was the guest picker on ESPN’s "College GameDay” on Saturday, as the show was broadcast from Louisville ahead of the Cardinals’ primetime game against Clemson.
Pitino, who coaches the Louisville basketball team, rocked the No. 8 jersey of the school’s star quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Pitino wearing Jackson’s actual game jersey. Says, “It took me 11 minutes to get this on.” pic.twitter.com/RehYUqhjHu
— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) September 16, 2017
The first game Pitino was asked to predict was Kentucky at South Carolina, and we doubt you’ll be shocked by his pick.
“This was a tough one for me, so I'll go with South Carolina,” Pitino said.
Pitino, of course, coached the Kentucky basketball team from 1989-97, and the Wildcats are one of the Cardinals’ biggest rivals.
Pitino’s pick was greeted positively by the Louisville crowd, to which ESPN’s Lee Corso said, “As you know, the fans here, anybody but Kentucky.”
Kirk Herbstreit, to the crowd’s dissatisfaction, was not on board with the Gamecocks, picking Kentucky, a 5-point underdog, to pull off the upset.
To set up his pick for Saturday’s main college football event — Clemson vs. Louisville — Pitino told a story from his last game as coach of the Knicks. He said he told his team before the final play of that 1989 game, “Whatever you do guys, do not let Michael Jordan catch the basketball. I don’t care if we lose, Michael, MJ, is not to touch the ball . … Scottie (Pippen) beats us, I get on the bus, I’ll be happy. Michael Jordan doesn’t beat us.”
Despite that strategy, Jordan got the ball and hit the winning shot at the buzzer, and “I’m back in college basketball,” Pitino explained.
Pitino’s point: “The great players sometimes can beat a great team and this (Lamar Jackson) is the best player in college football.”
Corso also picked Louisville, too.
— Louisville Athletics (@GoCards) September 16, 2017