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FINALS WATCH: Big fans

Sunday - 4/7/2013, 3:06pm  ET

Louisville's Russ Smith laughs during a news conference for their NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball game Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Atlanta. Louisville plays Michigan in the championship game on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ATLANTA (AP) -- Russ Smith has a reputation for being a little, shall we say, out there. This, after all, is the player whose nickname is "Russdiculous." He's never met a shot he didn't like, and his antics drove coach Rick Pitino to distraction his first year at Louisville.

And that exuberance isn't limited to the court.

Pitino was talking Sunday about the passion his players have for the other sports at Louisville. After mentioning that Gorgui Dieng goes to every women's game, Pitino said Smith had been something of a super fan for a women's soccer game.

"Russ Smith took off all his clothes -- except his underpants, of course -- and painted his body red for a women's soccer game in the cold," Pitino said.

Smith was quite proud to confirm Pitino's story, nodding his head and giving a big thumbs up.

"Now you know what I'm coaching," Pitino said, smiling.

-- Nancy Armour -- http://twitter.com/@nrarmour

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NCAA Finals Watch follows the Final Four games and all the activities surrounding the event as seen by journalists from The Associated Press from across Atlanta. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest. Follow AP reporters on Twitter where available.


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