To say Rick Pitino was unhappy with the officiating during Louisville’s 60-56 loss at Cincinnati Thursday night would be an understatement.
Infuriated would be better.
“I have a problem with the officials. They thought they were the three guys going into the Referee Hall of Fame the way they talked to me,” he said, via CBS’s Rapid Reports. “I don’t know what they’re looking at sometimes, but they’re so positive, they should really go into the Referee Hall of Fame.”
Here’s more, courtesy of Card Chronicle’s Mike Rutherford:
“[The officials] are really starting to get under my nerves. I don’t know who the hell they think they are,” he said. “The level of arrogance, I just cannot believe it.”
(Video of it all can be found here.)
Much of his ire stemmed from the foul trouble involving Cardinals center Gorgui Dieng, who had a double-double and was a solid presence inside, but picked up his fourth foul with 10:54 left in the game. That opened the door for the Bearcats (20-8, 10-5 in Big East) to make a 14-point run and take control of the game.
Pitino knew this was a golden chance for Louisville to boost its March, too.
The Cardinals (21-7, 9-6) would’ve helped its chance for a double-bye in the Big East tournament (Syracuse, Marquette and Notre Dame are locks for the first three spots) and maybe even a 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Now, it’ll have to focus on its next two games (home contests against Pitt and South Florida) before closing its regular season at Syracuse. Anything except at least two more wins will leave another sour taste in Pitino’s mouth.
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