The Florida Gators got to laugh after their 80-65 win over East Tennessee State to open their NCAA Tournament on Thursday. But they were laughing before they even tipped off, with one scribe in attendance deeming it notable enough to ask about after the game.
It turns out that Florida coach Mike White was to blame — Mike White, and the Migos hit “Pipe It Up.”
Shoutout to @gsmitter for asking the Q that lead to this:— Matt Brannon (@MattB_727) March 16, 2017
White said: "Come on, guys, let's pipe it up. I love that song." pic.twitter.com/l525war3ID
That was the first question of White’s post-game press conference, for the record, and though Florida’s video of the press conference sadly lacks that question and answer, we do have a snippet of the back-and-forth.
morgantmoriarty: Mike White/Migos Tru TV Inside March Madness https://t.co/h1WTOwD6z1 pic.twitter.com/8ahBDqEQOh— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) March 17, 2017
The questioner was Florida Times-Union reporter Garry Smits.
That glorious exchange also led to two other great bits.
First, White played along with the joke to razz Kevarrius Hayes for his slow start.
Q. This one is for Kevarrius: In your first possession of the game, it looked like you got the ball stolen from you. Could you take us through what happened then and how you turned it around and were able to take away five, six steals from them.
KEVARRIUS HAYES: Coach explained it to me, to slow down a little bit. He could tell I was a little bit sped up. And from there on, I just kind of settled in.
Q. That's pretty unusual for a center. Do you practice that?
KEVARRIUS HAYES: It's not so much practice. I guess I was very fortunate tonight.
MIKE WHITE: He was piped up.
Then, we got Devin Robinson singing a bit of the influential Atlanta rap group’s turn-up tune in the locker room for reporters.
Pipe it Up #gators Devin Robinson pic.twitter.com/UWgRBiuVnn— Brian Schaible (@SBNationReports) March 16, 2017
White strikes me as hip for a 40-year-old, and as a college basketball coach, I’m not exactly surprised he’s heard Migos enough to riff on one of their songs, even if he’s not quite sure who they are.
Regardless: This means I get to make Migos jokes all NCAA Tournament long. And I like that.