March 11, 2007

Ugly game last night. Chalk it up to Georgetown simply being better than us or it “just wasn’t our night” or whatever you want. I’m not here to tell you what to believe in that respect and I don’t want this to turn into a game that makes us hang our heads and completely forget about beating Marquette and Louisville.

The offense wasn’t there on many different levels.

The 42 points were the fewest points scored in a Big East championship game and were the fewest for a Pitt team since the Panthers scored 30 against Temple on Jan. 15, 1969. The 23-point margin of defeat was the most since Pitt lost to St. John’s by 24 in 2000.

The most notable was Gray, however.

Here’s all you need to know about the Big East championship game Saturday night:

Roy Hibbert had more dunks than Aaron Gray had points.

Kind of hard to place the entirety of blame on him though. It’s also too bad this was one of the games where Roy Hibbert came to play. He’s been a nonfactor more times than Hoya fans would have liked this year but last night he came to play.

Life goes on though towards the NCAA Tournament. When it comes to seeding, to me it’s always been match ups and location over actual seed number. We obviously will want to play our first round games in either Buffalo or Columbus (I’ve heard the athletic department wants to go to Buffalo rather than Columbus). We also want to play against teams who our strengths match up well against — once again, if it means we drop a seed line to play teams we can beat easier in the first and second rounds then I’m all for it.

If you like to listen to Joe Lunardi, he has Pitt at a #3 seed (in Buffalo). There’s no way we’ll move any higher and I can’t see us moving lower unless the Committee takes the Pitt hate to an extreme level.

Gray was horrible, but in all the Gray bashing the bad performance of just about everyone else is being overlooked. Pitt shot 3-17 from 3point range, a number similiar to the night Louisville beat the crap out of them at the Pete. Pitt had 4 games in a row earlier this year where Gray failed to get to double digit points, scoring like 4, 5, 7. Pitt won all those games because someone stepped up. It’s been like that most of the year. Some guys have an off night and Ramon comes up with 18, or Cook gets 20, or Fields gets 20. Last night pretty much everyone couldn’t shoot the ball. While Gray was 1-13 look at our guards, Fields and Graves combined for 3-13, not much better. Ramon was 2-8 and Cook was 2-7. Biggs 1-4. Only Kendall 2-4 and Young 4-8 managed a respectable shooting percentage. One can only hope they can’t all play this badly in the same game again…

Comment by Kevin Yoder 03.11.07 @ 12:11 pm

Why is it we mail it in EVERY big game we play?

The next time this team shows up in a big game will be the first.

Why can’t knight lay into these headcases? I think 90% of our kids problems are between the ears. On the *average* day, our D isn’t as tough as it used to be, but our O is better. Problem is, we can’t seem to have average days. We have way up or way down, sometimes by the half.

This is all mental. Its not atheletes, strategy, anything else. Its all mental.

Comment by Stuart 03.11.07 @ 12:32 pm

i don’t know about that. fact of the matter is our guards are shorter and less athletic than those on louisville, marquette, georgetown, and others. i feel that if a team has athletic guards they are going to get past us if we play straight man-to-man. mixing in the zone helps, but this pitt team, while better offensively, is not as good defensively. and we need something to fall back on if the shots don’t fall.

Comment by kamesh 03.11.07 @ 1:35 pm

4 or 5 seed here we come….this Committee will never reward this team with a 3 seed or higher unless Pitt can win the big games, which they have shown a complete inability to accomplish…the bottom line a 4 or 5 seed welcomes us tonight, just be ready for it…

Comment by Marco 03.11.07 @ 1:37 pm

Considering all factors, I predict a #5 seed. I know it may be a little low but its my gut sense that the committee will jack us again. In the meantime, let’s pray for the best while continuing to have faith in these guys….

Comment by MoE 03.11.07 @ 1:50 pm

My guess is that the #1 and #2 seeds will be

Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis,
North Carolina, Ohio State, UCLA, Wisconsin

in some order.

From Pitt’s perspective, it doesn’t matter which are #1 and which are #2 seeds. With the possible exception of Memphis, I can’t see Pitt being seeded ahead of any of them.

The only reason that Pitt is very likely to be a #3 seed is that there aren’t four strong competitors to Pitt after those top eight teams.

The possible competitors for #3 seeds are Oregon, Texas A&M, Maryland, Southern Illinois, and Texas. and (possibly) Washington State.

Maryland and Texas A&M both lost in the first round of their conference tournaments, so it seems much less likely than before that either of them would be seeded #3 ahead of Pitt.

So #4 seed is possible, but #3 seems much more likely.

Comment by Chris 03.11.07 @ 2:02 pm

I agree with your analysis and a Texas loss to Kansas will solidify our #3. Root for Kansas.

Comment by TMGPanther 03.11.07 @ 2:15 pm

Have any of you checked the RPI today?

Rk School W-L RPI SOS Rk SOS Conf Conf W-L
1 Ohio St. 29-3 0.6664 18 0.5783 Big10 17-1
2 UCLA 25-5 0.6623 8 0.5947 Pac10 15-4
3 North Carolina 28-6 0.6603 4 0.6034 Acc 14-5
4 Wisconsin 29-4 0.6525 36 0.5667 Big10 15-3
5 Pittsburgh 27-7 0.6492 6 0.6012 Bige 14-5
6 Southern Ill. 26-6 0.6441 31 0.5700 Mvc 17-4
7 Florida 29-5 0.6431 40 0.5658 Sec 16-3
8 Memphis 30-3 0.6380 75 0.5433 Cusa 19-0
9 Georgetown 26-6 0.6368 13 0.5825 Bige 16-3
10 UNLV 27-6 0.6353 39 0.5665 Mwest 15-4

Last time I checked, top 5 RPI gets the selection comittee’s attention. Probably a top 3 seed at worst.

Comment by Jeff 03.11.07 @ 2:34 pm

I don’t think it is out of the question for Georgetown to get a #1 seed and push Pitt over into the East Region as a # 3. UCLA is vulnerable and if Kansas loses they could also drop one spot. frankly, i don’t think UCLA deserves a #1 after teir last two losses.

Comment by TMGPanther 03.11.07 @ 2:34 pm

i agree with jeff, the rpi is too high to be lower than a 3

Comment by kamesh 03.11.07 @ 2:38 pm

After reading some of these comments, I am now convinced that Pitt is a bubble team, and will be sent to Fargo, North Dakota as a #9 seed.

Comment by baudolino 03.11.07 @ 3:09 pm

I was thinking wednesday in dayton. but we will only be allowed 4 players on the floor the entire time.

Comment by Stuart 03.11.07 @ 3:42 pm

…of which two must be Polen and Rizk.

Comment by baudolino 03.11.07 @ 4:02 pm

Aaron Gray shit the bed last night. It was difficult to watch him clumsily miss hook shots and layups. I feel bad for the kid, but you have to have strong games when it counts. He has shit his pants twice in Big East tournament championship games and versus Bradley last year.

The rest of the team, minus Kendall and Young, didn’t play spectacular either, but Gray was the biggest culprit. I hope he regroups and makes up for the performance in the NCAA’s.

Let’s go Pitt! We should be a #3 seed.

Comment by Omar 03.11.07 @ 4:36 pm

I just hope no one does what Chevy Troutman did on Selection Sunday a few years ago – showed up for the bracket release and got his picture in the paper wearing a “Booty Patrol” T-shirt.

Comment by Kevin 03.11.07 @ 4:45 pm

[…] Pitt draws a 3-seed in the NCAA tourney, though I think you could have made a case for them being as low as a 4-seed after getting thumped by Georgetown in the Big East final.  Also, former Pitt guru Ben Howland, is spouting off about how he thinks CBS has a hand in manipulating the brackets.  Everyone knows that's true, but I can't believe a big time coach would actually come out and say it.  Kudos to Howland on that. […]

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