Louisville coach Rick Pitino knows more about the Gators than most coaches outside the Southeastern Conference.

Pitino’s son, Richard, is a second-year assistant at UF. And Pitino also has served as a mentor for Florida coach Billy Donovan since Donovan ran the point for the Pitino-coached Providence Friars in 1987.

In an interview Tuesday morning with ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd, Pitino said he wouldn’t be surprised if the No. 12 Gators made a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

“Well, I’m a little biased, but everybody overlooks Florida,” Pitino told Cowherd. “Obviously Billy Donovan played for me, but I think Florida’s the type of team with three seniors in the front court with a very quick backcourt. … They’re a team that could beat anyone on a given night.”

Pitino even gave Florida a shot to win a national title.

“Nobody talks about them as a potential national champion,” Pitino said. “But they have the experience in their head coach, they have the experience in the frontcourt, the returning backcourt.”

Click here to listen to the ESPN Radio interview.