March 4, 2007

It’s Official

Filed under: Basketball,Big East,Conference — Dennis @ 4:49 pm

We basically knew all of this anyways, but the Big East bracket has been finalized after the final two regular season games finished up today.

Wed., Mar. 7 Thurs., Mar 8 Fri., Mar 9 Sat.,Mar 10
8) Depaul
9) Villanova
1) Georgetown
Semifinals, 7pm Finals, 8pm
2 pm
5) Syracuse
12) Connecticut
2 pm
4) Notre Dame
7 pm
7) West Virginia
10) Providence
7 pm
2) Louisville
Semifinals, 9pm
9 pm
6) Marquette
11) St. John’s
9 pm
3) Pittsburgh
Out: Seton Hall, South Florida, Rutgers, Cincinnati

Obviously the first thing we see is that we’re most likely going to see Marquette again. Ughh…

(Bracket courtesy of Card Chronicle, who we’ll hopefully get to know a bit more if/when we play them on Friday night.)

I like the way the brackets are set up. To get to the finals they’ll have to(barring upsets) beat the 2 teams that have given them the most trouble. If they can beat Marquette and Louisville I think it would go a long way for confidence going to the big dance.

Comment by spur 03.04.07 @ 5:02 pm

Dixon is a good regular season coach against unranked teams. Nuff said.

Comment by PittPantherFan 03.04.07 @ 5:42 pm

i think they have a shot, marquette should be our first opponent but remember they could be a little bit tired from the night before.

hell who knows, i’m going and i’m going to enjoy myself in nyc.

Comment by Jimbo B 03.04.07 @ 5:52 pm

I am going too..its rare a team beat another three times in a row in the same season.

Comment by scoocher 03.04.07 @ 5:55 pm

I am going too..its rare a team beats another three times in a row in the same season.

Comment by scoocher 03.04.07 @ 5:55 pm

You can say that again.

Comment by geeman2001 03.04.07 @ 6:39 pm

I can’t think of anything that hasn’t been said.

Pitt continues to make the same mistakes, refuses to improve/change, and continues to make other team’s players into first round picks as often as possible, especially in hard games.

We all know the story by now: poor shooting, cut up by guards, refusing to give the ball to the 7 footer.

Gray had 9 O boards and 8 shots – i wonder how many passes to him that leaves. At least he hit free throws.


I want to be mad, but you really can’t. These kids are doing the best they can with the skills they have. I think they’re playing about to their ability. Let’s face it – we don’t have any D wades, or even D james.

I think we all drank too much koolaid at the beginning of the season, and just be happy with our top 25 team year in and year out, until we get some good recruits. Until then, we’ll just have to deal with making the best of the situation we’re given.

I think we all just want for an Elite 8 or Final 4 apperance, even though we only have a Sweet 16 team here (maybe). Maybe for once in our lives, Pitt will get lucky!

Comment by Stuart 03.04.07 @ 7:18 pm

CAn anyone tell me why kendall was benched for the last 15 minutes last night??

Seemed to go against the way that he has been playing last few weeks..

Comment by slikk 03.04.07 @ 8:00 pm

It might have been because of his toe injury.

Comment by Tim Z. 03.04.07 @ 8:24 pm

I’m hoping it was the toe injury, although that’s not much to hope for. According to the radio after the game, Kendall only played 19 minutes. I thought he started out like the dominating force he never has been and wondered what happened.

Don’t forget – St. John’s might beat Marquette!…………Ok, that’s crazy talk. We can hope that playing Weds. night takes its toll on James’ cramps and we can wear them out.

Comment by Kevin 03.04.07 @ 9:14 pm

Hey, Marquette has been pretty mediocre against everyone but us in the past couple weeks, so it’s possible.

Comment by geeman2001 03.04.07 @ 9:50 pm

Marquette seems to be the one team that just has Pitts number. They are quick and usually have a good shooting team. However I do like our odds being that they will have to play the night before and its tough to beat any team three times in 5 weeks. Pitt needs to seriously look at their game plan. Why is Gray spending most of the game standing out near the three point line????

Comment by Rex 03.04.07 @ 10:03 pm

I don’t see a problem with who we play and at the times we play. I would love another shot at Marquette, just to punch them in the mouth and beat them when it counted the most. Also, G’town has to possibly face Villanova, Syracuse or ND? That’s super harsh, even if DePaul wins against Villanova. I will take where we are at. GO PITT!

Comment by Panthoor 03.04.07 @ 10:28 pm

If the Panthers ever lose Jamie Dixon to another school, it’s nice to know that there are several potential Head Coaching candidates posting constantly right here on the blog. Apparently many of you have superior knowledge when it comes to game day coaching and what adjustments that need to made during to big games.
It really put my heart at ease knowing that many of the people who post here know how to not only coach free throw shooting under pressure but also know how to run a half court offense way better then the guy we currently have in the head coach position.
I guess all I will have do and wait for Jamie Dixon to bolt, Hire a few of you folks, and then sit back and watch Pitt win multiple Big East and National titles while going undefeated season after season. Until that happens I will be holding my breath here in my office waiting for the real Pitt “Era of Dominance” to come where we won’t have to settle for the mediocre 25 win seasons anymore.

Thanks and keep up the good work.


Jeff Long

Director of Athletics
University of Pittsburgh

Comment by Jeff Long 03.04.07 @ 11:44 pm

It wasn’t really from Jeff Long. Just trying to make people think a little before ripping on Jamie D and the job he has done for the team and the school. You won’t see a similar post from me regarding the football team because I really believe that several posters here could do a better job a game day coaching then our current staff.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.04.07 @ 11:48 pm

Well, because we’re not head coaches at DI schools winning 26 games a year, its not possible that anything we say could be correct.

Comment by Stuart 03.05.07 @ 12:43 am

It’s not just you Stuart. There are plenty of others here who do the same thing and it’s possible that you could all be right on plenty of things but, We lost to G-town and Marquette because our shots were not going down. It’s that simple. We had plenty of good looks in both games and the players didn’t hit thier shots. Getting the ball to Grey all the time won’t work when he has 2 and 3 people hanging on him. He is good but he’s not Superman. We saw that early in the Marquette game when he turned the ball over a couples times under pressure. The guards have to hit a few shots in order for plays to open up for Grey. We need other options other then Grey and they weren’t there.

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 03.05.07 @ 8:58 am

Well, I plan to continue criticizing Dixon when I think he does a bad job, which, IMO, has been a lot of the time this year. I don’t think the number of wins a team has should immunize the coach from criticism, particularly because I don’t buy into the idea that a win is a win. In some respects, of course, it is, but the regular struggles to put far inferior teams away and the inability to win a single “big game” has to, in some big part, be blamed on the coach.

The players and coach have said all season that they didn’t come into this year just to have another good year, make the NCAAs, and then get bumped off in the first or second round of the big dance. They said they had a final four on their minds and believed they could get there. Well, I for one would like to see some evidence that they really believe that.

I don’t care if – and don’t want – Dixon reguarly calling out his players in the paper or on TV or radio interviews. What I do want to see is evidence during the game that when things are going wrong, he calls a TO and manages to get the players to take the steps to change that. For example, against Marquette, Gray getting more touches and the guards realizing that maybe just firing up 3 after 3 isn’t the best way to get back into the game. If the 3s didn’t start falling in the second half against WVU, we likely would have lost that game as well.

All of that said, I really do think this team could do something special over the next month. It’s never too late for them to learn the lessons of the last 30 games and right the ship.

Comment by Carmen 03.05.07 @ 9:02 am

Here is my problem, although we have 26 wins, only one of them came against a top 25 team – we beat Gtown early in the year and they were not ranked at the time we beat them. What does that really say about our 26 wins???? Just like the football team we never seem to step up to the big games. As with both programs – we cant seem to turn that ellusive corner.

Comment by Rex 03.05.07 @ 9:24 am

Warning, rant ahead.

I’ve seen a lot of sites bumping Pitt down to a 4 seed, and I’ve got to say I’m a bit perplexed. The mantra that I keep hearing all the time is, “Win the games you are supposed to win.” It seems like to me, with the exception of the Louisville game, Pitt’s done that this year. I look at their schedule, and there is one loss on there that really sticks out as a “bad” loss – the L’ville game at home when we just weren’t prepared to play.

Other than that, can you really make a case that Pitt should have been even favored in any of their other losses? Perhaps the Marquette game at home, but only favored marginally.

No way you’re going to be favored at Wisconsin this year. The game @ OK State was before they had fallen apart, and were high in the rankings. The first Marquette game in overtime was a tough loss, but not a “bad” loss. And recently, the G’town and Marquette games were on the road, and decided by a combined 12 points.

I’m not saying that I think Pitt should be happy with losing these games, to be clear – I’m just wondering why they are being harshly punished for winning pretty much every game they were supposed to win. A 4 seed is ridiculous in my book.

Also, what the hell has Southern Illinois done this year that is better than Pitt? Pretty much every site has them as a 3, or at least higer than Pitt. Check out their schedules and let me know if you can find the reason SIU is a seed line better, because I sure can’t locate it. Out of their conference, SIU is 1-2 vs the RPI top 50. Pitt is 1-1. SIU OOC vs top 100: 3-2, the same as Pitt. Because they play in a conference whose teams artificially inflate the RPI, we’re supposed to believe they are a better team? Crazy.

Alright, rant over.

Comment by Aaron 03.05.07 @ 10:06 am

It seems to say that Pitt bbeats the teams it should and loses to the teams it should. The teams that beat Pitt in hoops all have superior talent to the Panthers. As much as it sucks, Pitt does not have a D. James, a Jeff Green, a Alondo Tucker or the athleticism of Louisville. Pitt just doesn’t. Pitt has better athletes coming, and then we’ll see.

Comment by Crackbaldo 03.05.07 @ 10:07 am

Dixons team this year is 1-5 vs top 25 teams.It stinks,he is winning the easy games and losing to the good teams. This maybe the worst record against top 25 in the country for a team in the top 25. So good coaching when it counts is just not happening,hey playing better teams and better players is going to cause the shot % to go down, but DIXON must coach and use his coaching ability to get us some wins against the top teams.Just dont go with the same old same old.If they miss shots put someone in that can get hot and leave them in even if they make a couple of mistakes,dont take you players outat 14;20 of every game leave in your startersthat are hot and not just putting in the bench players to satisfy there egos,substitute in a as needed basis.And lets try other ways to get guys to make there shots.Set up plays to get your guys open for a great shot and keep it up.DO SOMETHING Im sick of the very basic coaching techniques that are employed.Tony from Harrisburg,If you measure your season based on winning25 games against scrubs then PITT IS IT.But I measure greatness by beating the best and winning when it counts.Hey I go to all the games and enjoy winning the easy ones for a nice night out.BUt I want to win against the good teams and have a great night out.Sorry if us coaches think Dixon can do a better job, but I want more,Im sick of losing big games.I want to be on the winning side of things being 5-1 against top 25 is the goal.We need to get better,even in the coaching department

Comment by Buzz 03.05.07 @ 11:27 am

It is odd though that Pitt for almost the entire season has been ranked in the top 10 yet has failed to beat any top 25 team. I would agree that we are one of the best 25 teams in the country soley based on the fact that I dont think there is any team out there that we couldnt beat, we just havent done it.

Comment by Rex 03.05.07 @ 11:28 am

Buzz, What are the records against Top 25 teams by teams in the Top 25. Do you have the stats? Just curious. I would like to see that stat.

Comment by TMGPanther 03.05.07 @ 11:37 am

Anyone have any extra tickets for Thursday night?

Comment by cousin j 03.05.07 @ 11:41 am

Here is the Top 5’s record against other ranked opponents (opponents ranked at the time they played):

Ohio State: 2-3 vs top 25 but is on a 14 game winning streak

UCLA: 9-1

Kansas: 2-1

Florida: 2-1

Wisconsin: 3-2

Comment by Rex 03.05.07 @ 11:49 am

Here is something to brighten up all of our days:

State Penn is 1-14 in their last 15 games. Where are those 100,000 fans for the basketball games?

Comment by Rex 03.05.07 @ 11:55 am

state hoops is brutal..and getting least in football we have had some recruiting “wins” to give us hope. state football is good-I’ll give them that, but their hoops is just awful.

Comment by scoocher 03.05.07 @ 12:07 pm

Pitt actually moved up from #12 to #11 in the polls???? Not that it matters.

Comment by Rex 03.05.07 @ 1:55 pm

hey rex, those 100,000 fans are at the same bar the pitt football fans will be with pitt’s home schedule next year…..

see how many no-shows there are for that!!!!

Comment by paulhackett 03.05.07 @ 3:19 pm

My comments were directed from a post that came up within the past few weeks where someone was praising how loyal Penn st fans were. My argument is that they are not all that loyal. Penn State football has been a successful program for over 30 years with only a few losing seasons – its easy to go watch a winner. If psu fans were so loyal they would be at the bball games too. So to sum up, winning is the only thing that brings attendance – not loyalty. Penn st fans are no more loyal than Pitt fans. Not to mention they have a larger alumni base and reside in a completely different demographic area. Fan Loyalty is a bunch of bs when it comes to attendance – its all about winning – dont kid yourself.

Comment by Rex 03.05.07 @ 3:38 pm

The first time Marquette played us it was a super close OT (or was it 2OT) game at home.

The second time, it was their senior night. Teams rarely lose on Sr. night. Hell, Washington beat UCLA on their senior night. Teams are pumped up for that one it seems and don’t lose much. Wasn’t it Tennessee’s Sr. Night when they made the Gators look like complete ass?

I’m not scared of Marquette. We can beat ’em in the Big East tournament.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my dad 03.05.07 @ 4:04 pm

Also in the first game Gray had a banged up hand and couldn’t shoot straight. Also in the first game D. James got a foul called in his favor with 1 second left in overtime to win the game.

I agree JCmd. Pitt will win playing Marquette OR St. Johns since Pitt will be rested. Then I’m afraid we lose to Louisville, just my gut feeling.

Comment by Kevin 03.05.07 @ 4:50 pm

Per Sagarin Pitt is 2-2 vs his top 25 and 6-5 vs his top 50. It doesn’t matter what teams were ranked when you played them it matters where they are now.

If we zone marquette we win by 10!

Comment by Pitt72 03.05.07 @ 5:01 pm

As long as we don’t zone them for 9 of the last 10 minutes of the game when we are down 17 points!! My God…I still can’t believe we wasted over 3 minutes of time watching Marq,pass around the perimeter….then give up a “death 3” when we
don’t rotate over..

Note to Jeff Long – other than 1 year of Walt Harris, every Pitt team has been worse at the end of the season than at the beginning for quite a while. It wears on the fans. That is a “coaching” problem and well deserves our “expert” opinions.

Comment by Dan 72 03.05.07 @ 5:20 pm

The upcoming Marquette game is going to be a great test for Dixon. If he doesn’t zone up and get the ball to G-money he’s full on retarded.

Comment by J-Maile 03.06.07 @ 5:58 am

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