Battle of the Stars: Boeheim Returns Favor by Beating Pitino's #1 Team
Louisville coach Rick Pitino, an assistant at Syracuse under Jim Boeheim for two seasons in 1976-77 and 1977-78, will have combined with his mentor for more than 1,600 victories by season's end. Three years ago, Pitino beat Boeheim when the Orange were ranked #1. Boeheim, who has directed the Orangemen to the Top 20 in a final AP poll seven times after they weren't ranked that high in the preseason, returned the favor this season with a 70-68 win at Louisville, squaring their all-time record against each other at 10-10.
It was the fourth time Syracuse has defeated the nation's top-ranked team under Boeheim, including Georgetown (1984-85) and Connecticut twice (1998-99 and 2005-06). Pitino, one of 11 coaches to knock off #1 with at least two different schools, has lost five times when ranked atop the national polls with Kentucky and U of L. He previously lost to Vanderbilt (1992-93), Indiana (1993-94), Massachusetts (1995-96) and Michigan State (2008-09). Duke's Mike Krzyzewski has the most setbacks in this category, incurring No. 26 a week ago against Mark Gottfried-coached North Carolina State.
Ralph Miller (Wichita State, Iowa and Oregon State) is the only coach to upend three #1 clubs with different schools. Joining Gottfried (also with Alabama), Miller and Pitino on the list of coaches who defeated a nationally top-ranked team with at least two different schools are:
- Tom Crean (Marquette and Indiana)
- Jack Gardner (Kansas State and Utah)
- Seth Greenberg (Long Beach State and Virginia Tech)
- Thad Matta (Xavier and Ohio State)
- Frank McGuire (St. John's and North Carolina)
- Lute Olson (Iowa and Arizona)
- Lee Rose (UNC Charlotte and Purdue)
- Gary Williams (Ohio State and Maryland)
- Roy Williams (Kansas and North Carolina)