Final Four: Cinderella takes a pass as NCAA’s power programs grab the spotlight

At Louisville, the NCAA didn’t get involved, but Pitino certainly landed in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

His name was trending for months while details of his extramarital affair and the ensuing extortion trial were aired out in public. Pitino’s reputation was damaged, and the woman who tried to bribe him to keep the thing secret got a seven-year prison sentence.

“A lot of times the last two years I took a lot of grief from a lot of people saying a lot of things,” Pitino said last week after Louisville beat Florida to make his sixth Final Four. “And I never thought in my life I could turn the other cheek and just walk on. And I did.”

This week, Pitino keeps looking forward, refusing to take the bait from all those Kentucky Wildcats fans, who may never forgive the 59-year-old coach for leaving them, heading to the NBA, then coming back a few years later to coach their archrival.

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