Iona head coach Rick Pitino made it abundantly clear that he was on Team UCLA heading into the Final Four thanks to his long-standing friendship with Bruins head coach Mick Cronin. So he was understandably heartbroken to see Cronin’s team lose last night.
Taking to Twitter this morning, Pitino wrote that he was proud of what Cronin and the Bruins accomplished. He called last night’s legendary game “one of the all-time greatest offensive displays” he’d ever seen.
Pitino also gave a shoutout to the victorious Gonzaga Bulldogs, who won the game in overtime. He acknowledged that they can make history if they win the national title on Monday and finish the season undefeated.
“Couldn’t be prouder of my great friend @CoachMickCronin,” Pitino wrote. “Such an amazing college basketball game. One of the all time greatest offensive displays. Congrats Bruins, that was spectacular. Gonzaga has one left in order to make history. Happy Easter everyone!”
Couldn’t be prouder of my great friend @CoachMickCronin. Such an amazing college basketball game. One of the all time greatest offensive displays. Congrats Bruins, that was spectacular. Gonzaga has one left in order to make history. Happy Easter everyone!
— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) April 4, 2021
Rick Pitino hired Mick Cronin as his associate head coach and recruiting coordinator when he arrived at Louisville in 2001. Cronin promptly delivered Pitino a top-10 recruiting class.
After just two years under Pitino, Cronin got a job as head coach at Murray State. He led the Racers to a MVC Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2004 and again in 2006.
Cronin’s success in three years at Murray State paved the way for his Cincinnati job, which included nine straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
After two years at UCLA, Mick Cronin looks like one of the top coaches in the country.