Rick Pitino previews Pittsburgh

--Pitt is very big and they're the most fundamentally perfect rebounding team in the country. The toughest thing about playing them is that they don't beat themselves. This will be a tremendous challenge.

--Pitt does a fantastic job of offensive rebounding from the baseline out; they block you out on the offensive glass. They are outrebounding Big East teams by an average of 11, and that's amazing.

--We've played Pitt very well in years past even when they've beaten us on the glass. Lost in overtime last year and were outrebounded by 14.

--Expects a good seed in the NCAA Tournament, because even when we've lost to good teams, they've been great games. There's still a lot of basketball to be played, so you can't worry about all that.

--Really doesn't care about getting the double bye. Doesn't think it's significant either way, but he'd prefer to play because of this team's limited tournament experience. If he was coaching Pitt, he'd rather have the double bye.

--We don't have the fan support at Madison Square Garden that teams like Syracuse, Pitt, St. John's, Connecticut, etc. have, so it's a tougher environment. Just hasn't caught on in Louisville yet.

--Our number one strength is our attitude; our willingness to pay the price to get a victory.

--Gary McGhee's having a tremendous season for Pitt. With Gibbs, Brown and Wanamaker also on the roster, it's a pick your poison situation.

--Hasn't gotten around to thinking about his wardrobe for Sunday, but knows it is a white-out. If you're not wearing white on Sunday, you're anti-Louisville.

--When you make a Final Four, it creates a bond with your team for life. It's hard to describe, and it's something you can't truly imagine or understand until you get there. (Next year is the 25th anniversary of his Final Four run at Providence)

--The nice thing about the Big East Tournament is that the environment is so pressure-packed that it gets you ready for the NCAA Tournament. That's why he likes playing.

--This has just been an amazingly fun season with the new arena and the unexpected joy this team has brought.

--Every coach wants his team to reach their potential, and we feel very good about this team in that respect. We thought we'd have some really rocky times, and we have not. Reaching their potential is all you can ask from any team.

--Big East has 11 locks for the NCAA Tournament right now. After what Marquette did Thursday night, there are no more bubble teams in the league.

--There are certain teams in the Big East that just aren't going to let you dictate the pace of the game, which is good, because you're going to see different styles in the NCAA Tournament.

--This team has done everything we have asked as coaches. This is as special a team as I've ever coached, because when you look at the stat sheets, our record does not make any sense. The whole has to be greater than the sum of its parts, and that's really true with this basketball team. You can pick a team MVP from one game to the next, but not for the whole season. You've just got 12 guys who are giving extraordinary effort.


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