The Louisville Cardinals may have won the 2013 NCAA national championship for teammate Kevin Ware, but the college basketball team also had another motivator behind its inspired effort on Monday night.
In a postgame interview with USA Today, an injured, yet ecstatic Ware shared the second source of Louisville’s motivation: coach Rick Pitino had made a midseason promise to get a tattoo if the Cardinals won the national title.
“(Pitino) said, if we won a national championship, he would be getting a tattoo," Ware joked in the interview. "So all you guys hear this — when you talk to Coach P next season, if he doesn’t have a tattoo, I’m going to be extremely upset.”
To his credit, it sounds like coach Pitino plans to keep his promise.
"About 12-13 games ago, all of these guys, when they say 'hello' they get a tattoo," Pitino said in a post-celebration interview with CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantz. "They said if you win the national championship, coach, you are getting a tattoo. I said, hell yeah, I am getting a tattoo."
The thought of Pitino sporting body art was a major factor in the Cardinals’ tough play down the stretch. "I think that was our biggest motivation, was to get (Pitino) a tattoo," said guard Peyton Siva, who contributed 18 points to his team’s 82-76 victory over the Michigan Wolverines.
Although Pitino has yet to decide exactly what type of tattoo to get, his players won’t be letting him wriggle out of his promise anytime soon.
"It means everything," Ware added, "and I'm gonna hold him to that tattoo he gonna be getting soon."
You can watch Ware’s post-game tattoo discussion below.