Depending on who you ask, Rick Pitino is among the most revered and reviled college basketball coaches in the country. The 60-year-old New York native is passionate, candid and occasionally controversial.
From the white suits and big wins to a fiery stint as head coach of the Boston Celtics, his coaching tenures have always demanded attention. Pitino has an opportunity to punctuate his 12th season at the Cardinals' helm with an elusive national title.
He leads Louisville, the tournament's No. 1 overall seed, into the Final Four for the second straight season and third time since 2005.
Meanwhile, a bracket-buster of epic proportions awaits in Atlanta.
Wichita State eliminated each of the top two seeds in its Midwest Region bracket. The Shockers stunned No. 1 Gonzaga in the Round of 32, sent upstart La Salle packing in the Sweet 16 and overcame No. 2 Ohio State in Saturday's Elite Eight showdown.
Coach Greg Marshall garnered accolades for his previous efforts at Winthrop, where he reached the NCAA tournament seven of nine seasons before accepting the position at Wichita State in 2007. His Shockers surge into the Final Four for the first time since 1965.
Wichita State has embraced the underdog role throughout the postseason and will continue to wear that label in Atlanta. Louisville has looked like the nation's most dominant team during the last two months and enters the matchup a 10-point favorite.
The Shockers have proven prognosticators wrong throughout the tourney but must overcome some significant disadvantages in this latest test.
Here's a look at why Louisville and Pitino appear to have the upper hand come Saturday evening.