- (Photo: Reuters/Tami Chappell)
Louisville players have revealed they were motivated by a "tattoo promise" made by coach Rick Pitino.
The deal was made sometime in midseason, Louisville's Kevin Ware has explained, and involved the head coach promising he would get a tattoo if his team went on and won the national championship.
At that time it was not agreed exactly what tattoo the coach would have to get - that, Ware explained, would be agreed later.
Pitino also realized come the end of Monday night's championship game that he would be on the receiving end of the agreement. He said after the game: "About 12-13 games ago, all of these guys, when they say 'hello' they get a tattoo. They said if you win the national championship, coach, you are getting a tattoo. I said, hell yeah, I am getting a tattoo."
In Monday night's game Louisville were pushed all the way by No. 4 seeded Michigan Wolverines, and similar to the Cardinals' Final Four game, they were forced to come back from behind to claim the win.
The Cardinals came through to win 82-76, meaning that Pitino now needs to follow through with his end of the bargain.
Many had thought the Louisville team's top motivation was for injured player, Kevin Ware, who suffered an horrific injury in the Cardinals' game against Duke on their way to the Final Four. Others had touted that the Louisville players were playing for themselves, to make history and claim their program's third ever title.
However, guard Peyton Siva joked after the game: "I think that was our biggest motivation, was to get (Pitino) a tattoo."
Ware also added: "It means everything, and I'm gonna hold him to that tattoo he gonna be getting soon."
The discussion will now turn to the details, with the players all having their opinion about what the tattoo should be of, and where on Pitino's body the ink should go.
Siva suggested: "I told some reporters he should get a lower-back tattoo. He said, 'Does it sting?' I said, I don't know. I don't have any tattoos."
Forward Luke Hancock added: "I don't have any tattoos. But we have a couple of ideas. I don't think he knew what he was getting into when he signed up for that one."
Here is a video new report following Louisville's win: