The state of Kentucky will descend into a basketball-flavored Civil War over the next five days, but in a crowd of adults taking this stuff really seriously, Louisville's smiling star from Senegal just wants to make sure everybody has a good time.
"I don't care about rivalries," Dieng said. "I don't want to play basketball to make enemies. I love this game, and I want to have fun with people."
Dieng is Louisville's answer to Anthony Davis, of course, and he'll be key if the Cards have a chance Saturday night. Today Eamonn Brennan has a great profile of him over ESPN, where we also learn that Dieng didn't understand how the tournament works as recently as last year:
Last season, when Louisville was upset in the first round by Morehead State, Dieng, then a freshman, didn't understand why the season had to end.
"I didn't know the Sweet 16," Dieng said. "I promise. I didn't know a lot of things about this tournament. After we got knocked out in the first round, I asked why we can't play anymore and stuff. [My teammates] explained everything."
"I know that it's fun," Dieng said.
Annnnd... Yep, Kentucky-Louisville aside, Dieng's definitely my favorite player in the Final Four now. Sports are supposed to be fun, ya know? ORANGE SLICES FOR EVERYONE.