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March 12, 2007

So it turns out the time I mentioned here was 8:30 central time, not eastern. Looks like another night staying up until midnight. It’s all in the name of the Panthers though — I’m sure we’ll all make it. Right? Right.

After poking around Yahoo Sports last night and this morning there were all kinds of stories about teams who will get upset or fall flat on their face.

Pitt was one of the teams that was mentioned as having the chance of disappointing an unknowing office poll selector.

Why they tank: Underneath their brute Big East exterior, these Panthers are all pink. As dominant as frontcourt Frankenstein Aaron Gray is, Pittsburgh is a team that is too much ying and yang. Guards Antonio Graves and Levance Fields are not much of a perimeter force, ranking 199th in the nation in three-pointers made per game with 6.2, but Graves can occasionally go off as his four bombs versus Louisville in the Big East semis proved. They are defensively sound in the half court, holding opponents to 40.7 percent shooting, but generate few turnovers (277th in TO%) and transition buckets. Finally, they are a strong paint team that draws a large number of hacks, but convert only 66.8 percent of their free throws. Considering the Panthers practically counteract their strengths and given their history of underperformance in the Big Dance – they failed to advance past the Round of 16 as a 2 or 3 seed in ’02-’04 – they will be caged by the Elite 8. Prediction: Sweet 16 loss to UCLA

         

The possibility of Pitt losing to UCLA is a surprise? Honestly, I think that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. I can see where he would form his opinion from; chances are he only happened to watch the Big East Final and forgot about us beating two very good teams in the night before.

And then this:

Wright State (vs. Pitt) – The Raiders finished the season 23-9, but they started 3-5 as they adjusted to new coach Brad Brownell. Since Christmas, this has been one of the hottest teams in the country. Wright State finished by winning 12 of its final 13 games, including two over Butler, and both the Horizon League regular season and tournament championships. This team is much better than a No. 14 seed.

It’s mainly saying Wright St. is possibly a better team than they were seeded. Still, when Dan Wetzel was writing this I’m sure he had visions in his head of Georgetown stomping Pitt on Saturday. Looks like Gray could put up 20+ points on them though.

By the way, a few people were wondering if they would get the Pitt game in their market. If you’re too lazy to go to a sports bar, there’s always this option.

Times Are Set

Filed under: Basketball,NCAA Tourney,Schedule — Dennis @ 5:38 am

We now what time our Panthers play on Thursday and we’ve managed to escape one of the daytime slots that cause tons of know what people to miss watching it.

Update: This is 8:30 central time. It is a 9:30-ish start on the east coast.

Some Bracket Thoughts

Filed under: Basketball,NCAA Tourney — Chas @ 12:43 am

Okay, Pitt got a #3 seed. That wasn’t a surprise — unless you were convinced that the Committee would screw Pitt.

Wright State was indeed a school Coach Dixon interviewed for the head coaching job back in 2003, but the school picked an Ohio State assistant who was later implicated in the paying players with Jim O’Brien. The new HC has been on the job less than a year.

The Mighty MJD notes how badly the Big East took it.

Honestly, while Syracuse should have gotten in, I was more disturbed about the exclusion of Drexel.

Even Big 11 partisans are a little stunned 6 teams got in.

The selection committee really hates the low and mid-majors this year:

  • Butler-Old Dominion
  • SIU-Holy Cross
  • BYU-Xavier
  • Nevada-Creighton

That’s the way to minimize the number of upsets of BCS programs by the others. Make them beat each other first.

While there is the hope for a Pitt-UCLA meeting, last year was really the Pitt-centric bracket if you recall. Pitt was in the “Oakland” bracket with UCLA (Howland), Xavier (Miller), Memphis (Calipari), Kent State (Christian) and Marquette (Crean).

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