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March 20, 2007

From the ESPN chats, Andy Katz:

Marty Pittsburgh, PA: What about the Pittsburgh Panthers chances against UCLA? UCLA seems undersized in teh front court, and Pitt seems to handle smaller teams.

Andy Katz: I picked UCLA but I do like the advantage Aaron Gray has inside over UCLA if the Panthers can get him the ball. That’s the question. If the Bruins’ pressure the guards well enough that Gray can’t get quality entry passes then he won’t be effective. The homecourt will be a clear advantage to UCLA.

And that’s the $64 Question. You wonder why they aren’t going to double Gray? They believe their advantage on defense is with their guards. If the guards can’t get it to Gray then they will just be passing along the perimeter and forcing Gray to come out on offense simply to set screens.

Mark Schlabach:

alex (New Rochelle, NY): Everyone seems to have UCLA over my Panthers. I actually think the matchup is good for Pitt. They both play the same. What do you think?

Mark Schlabach: Thought Aaron Gray played better in first two rounds than he did at the end of the Big East Tournament. Shot the 3-pointer well in the two games, and Cook, Fields and Graves can stay with Bruins guards.

Glad someone thinks so. Stewart Mandel wasn’t impressed by either team as he looks at the remaining Sweet 16.

UCLA: It’s time to start panicking, Bruins fans. Maybe those two season-ending losses weren’t a fluke after all. In its 54-49 win over Indiana, Ben Howland‘s team did its best impersonation of last year’s Elite Eight game against Memphis as its offense completely disappeared. It also allowed the offensively challenged Hoosiers to mount a late 13-point comeback before holding on.

Pittsburgh: It’s hard to have much faith in a team that, over its past three games, got clobbered by Georgetown in the Big East final and blew a 19-point lead on Saturday against 11th-seed Virginia Commonwealth before prevailing in overtime. Here’s guessing Jamie Dixon has bigger concerns on his mind right now than having to face his mentor.

Or you could note that Pitt has won 4 of its last 5 games against NCAA Tourney teams.

Former Pitt Associate Head Coach, now Manhattan HC, Barry Rohrssen is somewhat torn over who to cheer.

“Obviously, I care about both people and their programs,” said Rohrssen, a Brooklyn native who was the lead recruiter for Dixon. “But there are more variables for me on the Pitt side, having helped with the recruitment of those players. But my respect for Ben is so strong, it makes it real tough.”

“Both programs are so thorough in scouting,” Rohrssen said. “But this week, they’re going to find it’s like looking in the mirror. There is just so much familiarity. Obviously, each team’s players have separate skills. But in terms of style and preparation, it’s exactly the same.”

I’ll be getting some of that style/prep stuff later.

Good news for those of you with HD, all the remaining games will be in HD (maybe next year for me).

Halla-freakin-LouYAH on the HD.

Comment by Carmen 03.20.07 @ 1:55 pm

Some National Notes Ahead of Pitt-UCLA…

Trackback by University Update 03.20.07 @ 4:16 pm

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