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.

Wright is seeded correctly. 6-4 vs Sub 200 RPI teams, 2 quality wins all year (both at home, against the same team, no less), and they play in a middle of the pack conference, and that’s being generous.

I like how all these writers saying “they won 12 of 13” fail to mention who exactly Wright was playing. I know that the IUPU Fort Waynes and the Youngstown States of the world are pretty much equivalent to Louisville and Georgetown, but come on.

I’m not saying Pitt can’t lose to Wright State. It can happen, and the team needs to focus hard; but this whole subversive anti-Pitt thing just bugs the hell out of me.

Comment by Aaron 03.12.07 @ 4:01 pm

I don’t buy into the “subversive ant-Pitt” agenda. I believ that there is so much talk out there about this game because Wright State is not the cupcake that other 3 seeds are playing. We should still handle them easily, with our size. but this is the Big Dance! I would prefer to be playing Miami (OH) or Oral Roberts or even Penn for that matter.

Comment by TMGPanther 03.12.07 @ 4:07 pm

Heh, TMG, looks like we’ve hijacked the comments for the time being. Can’t say I’m not enjoying the banter, though!

Comment by Aaron 03.12.07 @ 4:14 pm

And, they LOST that game to Youngstown State

Comment by RyanSilverSpring 03.12.07 @ 4:14 pm

As you fill out your brackets, keep the following in mind. I was actaully surprised with the number of time 9 beats 8 and 7 beats 10.

#16 beating #1( 0%)Is this the year??NO
#15 beating #2 (5%)
#14 beating #3 (17%)
#13 beating #4 (20%)
#12 beating #5 (33%), as we well know!
#11 beating #6 (31%).
#10 beating #7 (40%)
#9 beating #8 (53%)

Comment by TMGPanther 03.12.07 @ 4:23 pm

At least JA Adande has our back…althougn no one else does.

We could lose this game if we shot the way we did last game. I’ve seen us beat ourselves more times this year than anyone else has… We seem to be a bunch of headcases. We come out shooting well, we could make the elite 8. We shoot poorly 1 game, season’s over.

Even against the better teams we lost to this year, we were taking many open shots, just missing them for NO REASON. I’m hoping we put together at least 3 games of solid shooting, I’ll be happy as a pig in shit…that’ll mean we beat ucla, but i won’t have to fork over all that cash to go to the final four…

Comment by Stuart 03.12.07 @ 4:28 pm

Early line has Pitt as 9.5 point favorite over Wright State. Duke is6.5 over VCU.

Lady Panthers get a nine seed for their first appearance ever in the NCAA

Comment by TMGPanther 03.12.07 @ 7:33 pm

I don’t want to hear any of this “don’t look ahead mess,” I’m just trying to help people out to make tenative plans for their weekend…

So, the first game on sat is at 3.20 pm est, and second game at 5.50 pm est, and I think that we should probably be the second game.

Comment by Stuart 03.12.07 @ 8:29 pm

And Gottlieb picked Duke, so we should be safe.

Comment by Stuart 03.12.07 @ 8:30 pm

gottleib is also the only one who is picking washington st over g’town…he hates the big east……

Comment by Schoe 03.13.07 @ 6:56 am

Stuart has it right. We MUST hit the open jumpers. Ramon, in particular. He also has to stop rushing his shots. I can live with Fields misses, but Ramon has shown he is just too good of a shooter not to convert the easy ones.

I think we’ll beat Wright St. by 15 at least. Wood will get his points, but I think our defense will shut down the rest of the team.

Comment by Carmen 03.13.07 @ 7:04 am

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