The Dagger - NCAAB

Pitino half-jokingly claims Big East schedule set ‘with a ouija board’

Rick Pitino is apparently pretty confused about how his Louisville team wound up with its specific 2011-12 Big East hoops schedule.

And, as per usual, Pitino felt no need to not express his opinion. He did so, though, in a pretty interesting forum.

"We have one of the premier commissioners in athletics, but whoever's doing our scheduling must be doing it with a Ouija board," he said.

This quote wasn't given to a pool of reporters, but rather to the Louisville sports information department for their official release on the schedule being announced. Those releases are typically known for containing the most vanilla, politically correct quotes that a coach can sit down for a minute and craft.

Pitino's biggest beef, which he also expressed later in the quote, is that two of the three opponents that Louisville faces twice are Pitt and Syracuse, who both will likely be joining UL in the preseason Top 25 rankings. The third is DePaul. However, wouldn't you consider those three being of equal difficulty as the trio Louisville double-dipped against last year (West Virginia, UConn and Providence)?

His other qualm, which is a bit more understandable and valid, is that the Cards' lone game against regional rival Cincinnati will be held on the road for a second consecutive year. They lost to the Bearcats last season, 63-54.

"It just doesn't make any sense to me," he continued. "West Virginia has a similar argument. They must be doing it with a Ouija board."

The three league foes West Virginia draws twice are Pitt, Notre Dame and Rutgers.

Pitino's frustration, though, is probably rooted in the fact that the Cards have a pretty tough non-conference road to cross first. They have games at Kentucky and at home against Memphis and Vanderbilt, and last month requested to postponed a running series with UNLV for two years to provide a bit of relief. They would have traveled to Las Vegas this December for that game. They lost their first road game in that series back in 2009-10, but now it will continue in 2013-14 instead.

A look at Louisville's league schedule, though, won't likely cause outrage across the board, as it's going to be tough no matter which way you slice it in a 16-team league that's competitive almost all the way from the top to the bottom every season.

In other words, it's going to be nearly impossible to make everyone happy.

Ryan Greene also covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for the Las Vegas Sun. Read his Rebels coverage and follow him on Twitter.

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