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February 24, 2004

Belated Pitt-WVU recap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patrick @ 2:50 pm

Sorry this took so long, but I’ve been ill with some kind of stomach virus – this is my second day off of work.

Anyway, I start by giving the Hoopies kudos for both their dance team and cheerleaders.
The cheerleaders were clad in mid-riff exposing tank tops, and all of them seemed quite fit. They did a lot of pyramid type formations as opposed to dancing and tumbling, but they still looked good.
The dance team also had exposed mid-riffs; they were clad in tight, form fitting leggings and tops. They actually seemed like they could DANCE, with a lot of sexy strip club moves and floor sprawling. I prefer Pitt’s dance style to this, but it was alright with me – and they were in a lot better shape than Pitt’s dance team.

Now on to the game: the Coliseum was packed with over 14,000 fans. Quite a few of them were Pitt fans, but it was overwhelmingly pro-WVU. There was a taped message from Jerry West played over the PA (he couldn’t be there because of his demanding schedule – bullshit, I say) congratulating WVU on 100 years of b-ball. At halftime, they trotted out many past hoops stars, some of whom played in the 1940’s.

Our seats were in the corner, upper level – although the layout makes it seem like one seemless tier. They older guy next to me was into the game – he couldn’t bring himself to swear, though. A lot of grandfatherly non-curse words like “for Pete’s sake” and “shoot” and “darn it” were thrown about. The fact that he was not-swearing so much was good news for Pitt. Still WVU was in the game almost the whole time – closing to within 3 points VERY late in the game.

I’m not sure if it is because it is basketball, or perhaps a totally different crowd goes to these games, but the hostility to Pitt did not measure up to the football crowd. Sure, some kids were saying the usual “shit on Pitt” and “Pitt cheated” on the way out of the game. But the animosity wasn’t there – similarly, this win was not enough payback for losing at football. Perhaps beating Syracuse at b-ball is better, since they care about b-ball more, but we need to beat WVU in football to get our mojo back. This was nice, though.

I’m still impressed with Pitt’s ability to shoot foul shots. And you got’a love Krauser.

Pitt up, Georgetown down. No where is this more obvious than in the media coverage for the game. Georgetown gets only a brief article in the Washington Times, focusing on their postseason goals — qualifying for the Big East Tournament and making the NIT. Meanwhile, the Washington Post ignores the hometeam to focus on the visiting Panthers. Mainly the story focuses on how the team has continued to succeed without Howland as coach and Knight at point guard. And that is it. Georgetown has fallen off the map in DC. Any attention Georgetown still gets nationally is from sports writers and ESPN producers who still remember when Georgetown was a name in college basketball.

Both the Trib and the P-G beat writers focus on the reversal of fortune and point to the 2000-01 season and the game against Georgetown as the starting point. Specifically, the posterizing of Reuben Boumjte Boumjte by Page when Pitt upset the then #10 Hoyas.Both reporters take pains to point out, that despite G-town’s slide and Pitt’s ascendance, the games between these teams have been very tight and not comfortable wins. Still Pitt has prevailed in 5 of the last 6. This would be a huge upset if Pitt choked on this game. It is G-town’s final home game of the season, so the seniors might be playing with a little more emotion.

Pitt rose to #3 in the polls. USA Today did a piece on Krauser and Dixon leading Pitt. Here is the Pitt press release and game notes.

Cook noticed that Page has had two straight good games and essentially calls him out to be the go-to-guy come the tournament. Page kind of has to, since he admits what this team should be seeking

“Coach Dixon probably will hate me saying this, but we have to go farther,” Page said. “We have to get to the Final Four.”

Pirusta at the Trib also states the need for the go-to-guy, but believes it can be Page or Krauser. I have to go with Pirusta on this one. While I would prefer to see Page be the one, I now feel Krauser is capable of being the guy to help take over a game. It doesn’t matter which one of them does it, so long as one does.

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