Final Four buzz

UMKC coach to start soon; Pitino could have coached at Michigan

Updated: 2013-04-08T05:09:41Z

UMKC coach to start soon

Louisville’s victory over Wichita State on Saturday meant UMKC knew when its basketball coach would be available.

Cardinals assistant Kareem Richardson, who was introduced as the Kangaroos’ new coach on March 26, looks to own a national championship ring to show off to recruits as Louisville takes on Michigan in tonight’s title game.

Richardson said Sunday he’s spent most of his time working on the Cardinals’ run. There are no staff additions to announce, and recruiting will begin in earnest after the championship game.


Michigan Coach Rick Pitino?

Louisville’s Rick Pitino said on Sunday that in 2001 he had agreed to become the Michigan coach, and contract language was being discussed. But his wife, Joanne, wasn’t thrilled about living there. She wanted to move back to Kentucky, where Pitino had been the Wildcats coach in the 1990s before moving to the Boston Celtics. Louisville was open.

“It was the right move for my family,” Pitino said.

Future for Divisions II, III

The NCAA brought its Division II and III championship games to the site of the Final Four, and the organization had to like the results. More than 14,000 attended the two games, and the atmosphere inside Philips Arena was more intensive than anything the participants had experienced.

NCAA spokesman J.D. Hamilton said the championships will be reviewed, as all championships are, in the offseason before any decision is made about the future of the title game sites.


Beyond Fab Five

Michigan’s Fab Five reached the national championship game in 1992 and 1993 without winning it. This is the program’s first trip back to the largest stage, and these Wolverines can finish a job Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and company never did.

But Wolverines guard Trey Burke doesn’t want to think in those terms.

“That’s a strong and bold statement,” Burke said. “I don’t think we should look at it that way. That’s a lot of pressure.”

Withey shares defensive award

Kansas center Jeff Withey picked up some hardware Sunday. He was chosen co-national defensive player of the year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, along with Indiana’s Victor Oladipo. Withey ended his Jayhawks career as the program’s all-time leader in blocked shots. He also stands second on the NCAA career blocked-shot list.

| Blair Kerkhoff, bkerkhoff@kcstar.com

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