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Rick Pitino wants father-son series

INDIANAPOLIS -- Louisville coach Rick Pitino wants to schedule a three-year series with his son Richard's Minnesota team, with the hope that the matchup would start in next season's ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

Rick Pitino told ESPN on Friday that he is hopeful the two conferences will pair Louisville and Minnesota beginning next season, with the game in Minneapolis. Pitino said he would then want to start a true home-and-home series, beginning at Louisville during the 2016-17 season.

"Helps his program," Rick Pitino said Friday. "Only time in my life that if we lose, I will smile inside."

Louisville defeated Minnesota in the Armed Forces Classic last November at a U.S. Coast Guard base in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Louisville beat visiting Florida International in 2013 when Richard was coach of the Golden Panthers.

Richard Pitino, who has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the opening at Alabama after Wichita State's Gregg Marshall turned down overtures from the Crimson Tide, issued a statement Friday saying he was "very happy" at Minnesota.

"With regard to the reports tying me to other collegiate men's coaching positions, let me simply say that I am very happy at the University of Minnesota," Richard Pitino said in a statement issued by the school. "I am grateful to be coaching and living in such a great community that cares so much about this incredible university as well as its basketball program. I am also extremely fortunate to be working for one of the best athletic directors in the country in Norwood Teague.

"This state deserves a great basketball program and we are working extremely hard to bring them one."

There are no indications that Pitino has spoken to Alabama officials.