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Rick Pitino Appears On 'Mike & Mike,' Takes More Shots At Digger Phelps

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USA TODAY Sports

I'm always surprised at which storylines catch on with the national media during events like the NCAA Tournament.

For instance, Louisville fans have heard Rick Pitino talk about deflections for years. The importance he places on the statistic and how thoroughly he charts them has been common knowledge around this area since the early part of the past decade. Still, "deflections" has become the defining story of Louisville's NCAA Tournament run so far, and one which Pitino spoke more about during an interview on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" radio program Thursday morning.

In addition to giving his spiel on deflections again, Pitino also took the time to once more heap some massive praise on Louisville's Sweet 16 opponent, Oregon.

"I've never seen a team all year take Saint Louis out of the game like Oregon did," Pitino said. "They beat Saint Louis by 20, which didn't happen the whole year. They're really, really impressive right now in what they're doing.

"We'll be ready for them, but our respect level for them--I pay no attention to seeds. If you look at their talent level, if you look at the way they're coached, they're probably a three or four seed."

Pitino also took another shot at ESPN analyst Digger Phelps, who picked Louisville to lose in this round before the tournament.

"Digger has been picking against Louisville since day one," Pitino said. "You have to understand, I was joking when I said it, but Digger has buried more brackets than any person ever on television. He is the undertaker. He just buries people constantly with his opinion, so I had to give it back to him a little bit because he's always picking against Louisville."