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January 23, 2007

Fascinating.

With about six minutes left in the game, the referees apparently made the decision that they were going to ruin what had been a highly enjoyable half of basketball up to that point. After letting both teams get away with murder in the first half, Tim Higgins, Mike Kitts, and Ted Hillary decided they needed some face time and completely took over the game.

Louisville and Connecticut combined to shoot three free-throws in the first half, and  56 (38 total fouls whistled) in the second. It was an abomination.

Tim Higgins was the lead ref in the Marquette-Pitt game. It wasn’t quite that extreme. 11 in the first half and 57 in the second and OT. The fact is, that Pitt shot more FTs than Marquette — especially in the second half — but didn’t convert.

I guess that’s why I struggled with the article about Pitt struggling in games called tight.

The scenario was similar against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were called for 24 fouls, but the Panthers were 23 for 34 from the line. Oklahoma State was 32 for 38.

“I thought we’d be a little bit higher at this point,” Dixon said of his team’s percentage at the line. “But our guards are shooting a pretty high percentage. Free-throw percentage oftentimes is who is shooting your free throws.”

Yeah, but Gray going 2-8 really skewed the numbers. It isn’t whether Pitt can handle playing in a tightly called game — they can. Unlike in past years where it killed Pitt because of the number of free throws the other team had, this is about Pitt making their own. It’s about controlling what they do. That’s really all I have left on the Marquette stuff.





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