Blog Entry

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Posted on: June 10, 2011 10:31 am
By Matt Norlander

Rick Pitino's capability for a good quote has too often gone overlooked. Thankfully, in the doldrums of June, college basketball's second-worst month of the year (only August is worse), Pitino has delivered some fighting words. Words that will have some lasting impact by the time Kentucky and Louisville play each other around New Year's Eve.

And the words aren't even directed at Kentucky -- they're a shot at the SEC. The Louisville coach sent a verbal barb flying Wednesday in the direction of the conference, a clear response to something John Calipari said last week.

After the SEC ditched its two-division format, opting to have one league with 12 teams, giving the league a better chance at more NCAA tournament teams, Cal said, "This is no knock on the Big East but they’ve had 19 teams in the tournament the last two years and how many have made it by the first round? How is this happening? When they start playing each other they say the 11th team is really good. What? We have to figure out how you play the best schedule you can play and still win. That’s different for all of us. I think that’s more important than 16 or 18 (conference) games." 

Card Chronicle also brings up the fact Calipari, in March, said the Big East is a product of "media hype." So Pitino, the former Kentucky coach who led them to a title in '96, clearly knew what he was doing when he said this:

The coach jabbed back just a bit tonight at a Cardinal Caravan event in Shelbyville. When introducing his son, Richard, to the crowd, he said:

"(Richard) went away for a couple of years to learn how to do things in a second-rate league, then get back to the big time."

Richard Pitino spent the past two seasons in the SEC as an assistant under Billy Donovan, a Pitino disciple. It's as much a playful jab as it is an under-the-surface shot. And a truthful one. The Big East has been a better league than the SEC for most of its existence. Undeniable. And Kentucky, you'll remember, saw its 2011 season end in the Final Four at the hands of Connecticut, a Big East team.

Photo: AP

Since: Dec 15, 2008
Posted on: June 12, 2011 7:53 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Big east is the most over rated conference ever  sec may be better  the acc is the best conference ever coach k is the best coach in any sports and roy williams is a top 3 basketball coach fl. st had the best d in the nation last  acc is always dominant


Since: Jun 12, 2011
Posted on: June 12, 2011 7:26 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

BTW Kansas was the favorite that year...

Since: Jun 12, 2011
Posted on: June 12, 2011 7:23 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

West vir. waxed them?  UK shot 2 from 32 from the three point line..UK played a bad game and was off,happens with young guy's..I wouldn't say waxed....So I guess UK is even then,they beat them this year and hit the Final 4..I guess Uconn waxed them also?  4- from 12 from the stripe waxed the cats this year...

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 7:15 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Don't forget, West Virginia waxed Cousins, Walls, Bledsoe, Patterson, and Orton like a cheap floor. This was the "sexiest", and most hyped UK team ever, the best the SEC had to offer. This was the Wildcat's Fab Five. UK and America were heavily invested in this team, which was the consensus pick as basketball's "alpha" team. They weren't. They were only posers. UK can win a thousand more games, and umpteen titles, but they can never erase the destruction of Cousins & Wall by the Big East's Mountaineers.

Since: Jun 12, 2011
Posted on: June 12, 2011 6:48 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

First off Wade was never in the Big ..As for the Big East being so good and the SEC being so weak...Let me see now..Vandy beat marq. last year..The Vols beat Pitt and Nova...The Wildcats lost to Uconn(hats off to the champs) but did beat Lousiville and Notre dame..Sec was 3-1 in the stupid Sec/Big East challege last year..SEC only conference to have two teams in the Elite 8 last year...That even being with the media hyped big East having how many teams in the tourny?? lol .Since 94 Ark,KY,Florida,Miss.St. and LSU have made a final four..Have played for a title 8 times in that period of time..With 5 titles.....So call the SEC weak if you like.....

Since: Feb 21, 2010
Posted on: June 12, 2011 6:35 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Also if Pitino is a 2nd Rate coach that makes Cal a 3rd rate coach because Rick has 1 title and 5 FF while CAL only has 1 FF and less wins Than Rick. <br />

Since: Feb 21, 2010
Posted on: June 12, 2011 6:33 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Why are UK/SEC fans even arguing trying to argue that the SEC is as good as the Big East or that the SEC is even in the top  5 bball conferences .

The fact is that the SEC is the 6th best league all time.

The BIg East since UL, Cinci , and Marquette moved into it in 05-06 the BIg East is 46-35 vs the SEC and now with the newly expanded BE vs SEC invitational the SEC will fall way behind and they will fall fast because now the SEC and BE are playing more games aganist each other.

Also the SEC only has UK. UF only has had 2 good seasons.Tenn, Vandy , USC and the SEC west sucks.

Big East has 11 championships the SEC has 10 while 7 of those are from one team.

The Big East has better NBA players as well with people like Ray Allan, D. Wade, Carmelo Anothony, Rudy Gay and more.

So as you see SEC fans please just stop agrueing that the SEC is underrated and the BE is overated because just last year our 9th best team won it all.

Just save your selves the embrassment of looking dumb by posting foolish text that people are just going to laugh about because they have no facts that help the SEC's case of not being a 2nd rate confernece.

Also if SEC fans are so eger to show that the SEC is actually a decent confernece you're team will have there chance in the SEC vs BE invitational this next season with 12 games.

I just dont understand why UK/SEC fans cant admitt that the Big East is the best basketball confernece even when all BE fans say that the SEC is the best football conference.

I think it just because UK fans are jealous that UL is finally in a conference that can at least compete with the SEC in all sports unlike C-USA and a conference that is the best in Bball.

GO CARDS and go Big East      SEC= 2nd Rate

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:41 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

SEC is over rated in football to, most of the teams in SEC football do not play good team out side there own conference ,FL has not played a non-conference team out of the state of FL in over 20 because thay are scared to
No, it's because all the good teams are inside their conference.  If they were so overrated, why have they won the last 5 BCS titles?  Not only that, but, with the exception of last year, why did they win every game by double digits?

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:33 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

Pitino: "IS A SECOND-RATE COACH!"  He has been matched or surpassed by so many coaches that I have lost track.  Even the most staunch of UL supporters are fed up with his failure.  If not for a fanbase that is more accepting of a coach's past, he would have been fired long ago.  Keep talking Rick with all your spin on semantics, which is what you do best.  We'll just keep taking players from you.  Can't wait til we add Purvis, to wipe that smug little smirk off your face.  Go CATS!!!

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:31 pm

Pitino: SEC is 'second-rate' basketball league

And the 9th place team in the Big East won the NCAA, so I guess the Big East is not too overrated.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Are you serious?  You can't be serious, can you?  The Big Least has been lauded, as of a late, as the best thing since sliced bread.  Good for them.  The 9th place team won it all.  What does that say about the other 8 sorry ass teams before them?  If you take out UConn, the Big Least is a joke and not much better than 2nd rate.  Quick question, how many titles has the Big Least won the last 20 years if you exclude the powerhouse that is UConn?  1, Syracuse in '03.  How many Big Least teams made it to the Elite Eight last year?  1, UConn.  How many SEC teams made it that far?  2, UK and UF.  In conclusion, the Big Least is constantly overhyped and constantly fall flat on their face come tourney time with the exception of UConn, the team that makes that conference relevant.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or