University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino wasn't happy with getting a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament this week.
But it would have been much easier to take if he wasn't playing Manhattan in the first game.
Sure, the Jaspers are a No. 13 seed and the Cardinals are double-digit favorites for tonight's game at 9:45 p.m. But that sure doesn't tell the entire story of this one.
Pitino will take his Cardinals into battle against a team coached by one of the closest people to him in the coaching ranks - Steve Masiello. He was a ball boy for Pitino with the New York Knicks, he was a walk-on at Kentucky when Pitino was the coach and was an assistant coach and lead recruiter at U of L.
"I am afraid of playing him," Pitino said with a smile. "He knows every single thing I do since I've been 28."
Pitino and Masiello are so much alike that when asked the same question - two hours a part - on Wednesday they came up with the same joking answer about preparing for the other.
"We changed everything this week," said Masiello said. "We're not pressing at all, we're putting the triangle-and-two, box-and-one or one-three-one, we're running all five-out motion.
"We are going to run a whole new style that we've implemented, so anything he's seen on film, just scratch it. Please tell him that."
Pitino had said about the same just a couple hours earlier about Manhattan.
"We've changed almost every attack we have for this game," he said. "We've changed all our plays and calls and defenses because we know he knows us so well. So if I was him, I would just be thinking a lot and not sleep because of all of the changes we are making."
There won't be any joking tonight.
Pitino knows Masiello will have his team prepared and the Cardinals are in for a fight.
"We press like him, we trap like him, his offensive sets are just like ours, and they should be," Pitino said. "He played under me, he was an assistant coach. That's why I don't like the game. I don't think it's fair. I don't like it. I don't know why they would do it. I just don't like the game at all for either one of us.
"We may be the more -- obviously we won the national championship and obviously we're more heralded, but this is anybody's game. This is not a 1-16. It's anybody's game."