Final Four notebook: Report: Pitino elected to Hall of Fame
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• Louisville coach Rick Pitino was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, according to multiple reports. The official announcement will be Monday in Atlanta. Pitino, 60, a finalist last year, could become the first coach to win NCAA national titles at two schools later that day. He also won at Kentucky in 1996. According to reports, former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis, former UNLV and Fresno State coach Jerry Tarkanian and NBA defensive specialist Gary Payton also were elected.
• As Hurricane Irene churned along the East Coast, flight after flight was getting canceled, and Cleanthony Early remembers thinking to himself, “I'm stuck in Kansas.” The talented forward from upstate New York was on a recruiting visit to Wichita State. The first two days had gone well. Then he wound up stranded three more days and came away convinced. The rangy forward spurned overtures from Baylor, Alabama and Missouri to commit to coach Gregg Marshall. Three days, and one storm, ultimately changed the course of Early's life. The Shockers' basketball program, too.
• Louisville, a 10 1⁄2-point favorite, is the second biggest Final Four favorite since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Only Duke, an 11-point pick over Michigan State in 1999, was a heavier favorite. Duke won, 68-62, before being upset by Connecticut in the finals. That was the last time a team entered the Final Four as the consensus choice and failed to win.
• Adidas has stopped selling T-shirts inspired by Louisville guard Kevin Ware's No. 5 because of a “use of logo issue.” Earlier this week, adidas was advertising shirts for $24.99 through Louisville's Web site that read “Ri5e To The Occasion.”
— Wire reports
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