The No. 2 Louisville Cardinals will meet the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA tournament second round on Sunday, and in advance of the game, Rick Pitino had some high praise for his team’s opponents.
Pitino on #Michigan: "we're playing against the Golden State Warriors Sunday. I've never seen shooting like that since I've been a coach"— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) March 17, 2017
Michigan, of course, has had a wild, up-and-down last 10 or so days, with a plane incident before leaving for the Big Ten tournament in Washington, DC, then winning that tournament outright. The Wolverines then played Oklahoma State in a thriller and won, which advanced them into the second round against Louisville. Sunday’s game will be a repeat matchup of the 2013 national title game.
As it happens, Pitino has a point here. The Wolverines own a 48 percent field goal average on the year, good for 19th in the country. They rank somewhat lower than that in three-point shooting at 38 percent, good for No. 48. They also shoot well from the free throw line, hitting 77.5 percent of their attempts, which ranks 12th in the nation.
How do those lines stack up against the current No. 1 team in the Western Conference? Golden State is hitting 49 percent of its field goals currently, and 38 percent from out in the county. They’re also making 78.7 percent of their free throw attempts. Those numbers rank first, third, and 10th in the NBA right now.
But maybe there’s more to this comparison. Perhaps Pitino thinks Louisville is actually playing the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. Those color schemes, after all ...
Heck, if you’re going to earn comparisons to any NBA team, you should hope it’d be the Warriors.