Louisville head coach Rick Pitino directs his players during practice for an NCAA college basketball tournament second-round game in Seattle, Thursday, March 19, 2015. Louisville is to play UC Irvine on Friday. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson
March 24, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Count Louisville coach Rick Pitino among those who believes Kentucky's John Calipari deserves national coach of the year honors.

Asked Tuesday about the U.S. Basketball Writers Association voting Virginia's Tony Bennett ahead of the coach of top-ranked and unbeaten Kentucky (36-0), Pitino said he would've selected his in-state archrival.

Calipari has won seven of eight meetings with Pitino, including this season.

Pitino, who has never won the award himself, praised Bennett and others for coaching jobs they have done this year. But the Louisville coach says, ''I think John Calipari has done a brilliant job, so I'd put him at the top'' of the list of candidates.

Pitino added, ''When you're undefeated and nobody's beaten you, it's clear cut who the coach of the year is right now.''

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