Richard Pitino and his father Rick both used to coach at Louisville.

By Khadrice Rollins
March 18, 2019

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Richard Pitino will face off against one of his former employers in the first round of the NCAA tournament Thursday.

Pitino's Minnesota squad is the 10 seed in the East Region and will open its tournament in Des Moines. In the opening game, the Golden Gophers will face off against seven-seeded Louisville.

It's the first time since the 2014-15 season opener that these teams will play each other. Since then, a lot has happened at Louisville, where Pitino used to coach.

Back in 2007, Pitino started up as an assistant for the Cardinals on his father Rick's staff. He stayed around until 2009 when he departed for Florida for two years. He then came back to Louisville as an associate head coach before bouncing after a Final Four appearance to be the coach at Florida International.

Rick Pitino started coaching Louisville back in 2001 after a stint in the NBA. Rick Pitino stayed with the program until 2017. He was fired in October of that year after 10 people were arrested in connection to a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball.

"It's the elephant in the room," current Louisville coach Chris Mack said, according to Jody Demling of Cardinal Authority. "I coach a few guys who played for Rick Pitino and we're playing against his son. ... I can't control what people are going to talk about, but you can only beat a dead horse for so long."

Demling reports Rick Pitino will not make the contest Thursday because the team he coaches, Panathinaikos in the EuroLeague, has a game Wednesday night.

Tip-off for this contest is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. ET.

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