March 19, 2007

A friend of mine, Tim Z. (who sometimes comments here), submitted an interesting question to the Post-Gazette basketball Q&A and ended up getting it printed on page two of Sunday’s sports section.

Q: If the Penguins get a new arena here in Pittsburgh, assuming it reaches the seating requirement, would Pitt be able to play NCAA tournament games there? I believe Duquesne would have to be the host, but is it possible?

Tim Z., Pittsburgh

FITTIPALDO: Pitt played at Mellon Arena in 2002 when Duquesne was the host school, so I believe it could happen again that way. Of course, Pitt would have to finish as a high enough seed for the NCAA selection committee to award Pitt with two games so close to home.

I didn’t go when it was previously hosted here but I’d do everything in my power to get to it if they played here in the future (meaning 2010 and beyond).

Speaking of tourney games in the city, I went to three of the four women’s NCAA tourney games yesterday and had a good deal of fun with the exception of suffering North Carolina trample over Prairie View. Nice win for Pitt over James Madison late last night. I’ll be there tomorrow night when Pitt plays #1 seed Tennessee. Fans did a great job of supporting the team and I expect it to continue.

How many people were there? I’m assuming it wasn’t a packed house or anything, but was it half full? A quarter full?

Just curious what kind of crowd the women’s tourney draws.

Comment by Jeff 03.19.07 @ 9:53 am

That’s great that you went to the ladies game! If I were closer I would be there as well.

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 03.19.07 @ 10:15 am

Saw ladies game on ESPN 2 (DirecTv feed). Very entertaining. Worth watching against Tenn to see the quality at center and point guard….

Comment by velvil 03.19.07 @ 10:26 am

What I don’t understand is how Pitt (an 8/9 seed or whatever) gets to host Tennessee, a 1 seed? Or is that at a different location – from what I can tell its at the Pete.

Comment by B.B. 03.19.07 @ 11:50 am

I watched the Pitt/JMU game on DISHTV and came away with a few observations: (1) The womens game has come a long way and is played at a high level. (2) The fundamentals were great. (3) Everybody hits their free throws. (4) No tatoo’s!

Comment by HbgFrank 03.19.07 @ 12:55 pm

B.B., in the women’s tournament, a team that makes the tournament and is hosting plays at their home site automatically, no matter what their seed is. So, it is feasible for a team seeded even as low as 12 or 13 (or even 16, if they had a big enough home arena) to play at home for the first two games.

It’s odd, but it kind of adds an interesting flavor to the tournament, fair or not.

Comment by Aaron 03.19.07 @ 1:05 pm

Not to the extent of TN having to play at the Pete, but Pitt men had to play Wisconsin in the Dance in Wisconsin a few years ago and Texas A&M this year had to beat Louisville in KY. The crowd was so loud for UL that it was basically a home game for the Cards but with more people.

Comment by Roman 03.19.07 @ 1:09 pm

The team hosting gets to play at home no matter what the seed is done to sell tickets and make 1st and 2nd rounds a little more exciting, otherwise why wouild a school even bothering hosting. For example if Pitt had to travel to another site while still hosting at home how many people do you actually think would had been at the Pete yesterday.

Comment by Bill 03.19.07 @ 2:47 pm

Duquesne would not have to host. They put forth the initiative to apply to host the tournament a couple of years ago, there is no reason that Pitt can’t due it in the future, unless I am missing something.

I also saw part of the Women’s tourney, just the Cal/ND game. Not many people where there for the Cal/ND game, which was the first game, but more people came for the second game, NC.

Comment by rob 03.19.07 @ 3:20 pm

Host teams cannot play at their own site in the Mens tournament. for the women it is allowed for ticket sales obviously

Comment by Jamie H 03.19.07 @ 6:53 pm

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