Former basketball coach Rick Pitino, who was fired by Louisville last year and has said he won't coach again, still follows the sport closely.
As such, Pitino gave his thoughts on Twitter about the 14 potential championship teams in men's college hoops. He identified five "elite" programs: Virginia, Duke, Gonzaga, Michigan, and Kansas, plus nine others that were "almost elite" or had the "potential to be elite."
Of the 14, three were Big Ten teams (Wisconsin and Michigan State in addition to Michigan). The Gophers — coached by his son, Richard — were not included.
That's fair and accurate even with the nice start the Gophers have had, but I had to have some fun so I tweeted the list to get the attention of Richard Pitino.
And his response was perfect. "About him using Elite three times in a tweet? I'm used to it by now."
I can only assume that was a reference to his friend P.J. Fleck, who turned 38 on Wednesday.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.