Rick Pitino wasn't on-hand to accept his Louisvillian of the Year award Friday night, but it would have been hard for him to create a bigger buzz if he had been.
On a taped acceptance speech, Pitino spoke passionately about what Louisville has been able to do the last two seasons, and what he hopes the Cardinals are able to achieve going forward.
"It's been two unbelievable years," Pitino said. "Back-to-back Final Fours, which is extremely difficult, and in arguably one of the toughest conferences in all of basketball -- the Big East -- winning two championships, the last of which was won at Madison Square Garden in the last one of its kind to be played there with all these tremendous teams. One more, and you've now created a dynasty. Anytime you have three years at the championship level, you've created a dynasty. And that's going to be our goal. . . .
"What I showed my team after the season was the Yankees run. The Packers run. The Patriots run. The Celtics, the Bulls, the Lakers. All these great teams. It takes three years in a row to create some form of a dynasty. If we can go to three Final Fours and put ourselves into a championship hunt, we will have accomplished that. That has to be the carrot out there. But it has to be, again, on a one-day contract. What that did last year was get the most out of our abilities. We know there are teams like Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, and Michigan that certainly are every bit as good as our basketball team, if not better. But I like our basketball team. I think they're under the influence of that one-day contract mentality, they love what they are accomplishing, and they want to go for it. So we'll strive to meet our goals like everybody else. We know it will be difficult, but I think we're up for the challenge."
I love it.