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December 20, 2007

6:40: Family (huge Duke fans) from North Carolina are here for Christmas and I’ll be watching the game with them tonight. I am prepared to win or lose excessive amounts of money tonight depending on the outcome.

6:50: On PTI today, Tony Korheiser gave Pitt a 4% chance of winning and Michael Wilbon gave us at 25% chance. Jay Bilas says on SportsCenter that Duke is also built more for the postseason. It’s still December…

7:02: The team looked fired up in the pregame.

We have tip-off. Go Pitt.

7:05: The clocks at MSG are performing about as well as the Knicks have this year. Still waiting…

7:08: Finally we’re actually going to play. DeJuan Blair gets an early 2 on a nice move. Already we’re seeing the Duke screen plays at the top of the key lead to a wide open lane. Can’t expect Blair to switch on a pick to cover a quick guard. Duke is picking up the defense at about 3/4 court, much earlier than we’ve seen from any other team this year.

7:11: Maybe Blair should have dished it to Fields for the break, maybe he shouldn’t. Oh well. Four offensive turnovers already — ouch.

7:16: Sam Young with a horrible missed dunk.

I feel like on at least two occasions, Ronald Ramon was maybe going to shoot a 3 but was confused by the NBA three-point line.

Stuart makes a good point in the comments: “Duke seems to have a good plan with making Ramon bring it up – its taking Fields out of the game and causing Ramon to turn it over way too much.”

7:28: Gil Brown has knocked down a jumper and blocked a shot which lead to Blair basically getting tackled. Both teams look sloppy — Pitt more than Duke, though. Duke is up 3 with 9:20 left in the half.

7:35: Even more turnovers. Traveling, stepping out of bounds, offensive fouls, bad ball handling…

Dixon takes his first timeout of the game after Paulus nails a three.

7:41: Duke is just a team of tall white dudes who know how to flop. The refs are starting to lean towards Coach K and we haven’t scored in about 5 minutes. The double teams on Blair are starting to work and he’s getting trapped in the lost post without a place to pass it to. On defense it looks like Pitt has never seen a team use a screen and Duke has all kinds of open shots and drives. The Duke family members have taken over my basement.

13 turnovers and counting.

7:55: So that was a pretty ugly half of basketball. We have no leader on the floor and the entire team needs to collectively calm down. Not at all impressed with Ramon, which makes me realize how much better I felt with Antonio Graves last year. If Ramon isn’t even going to hit his three pointers (0-3) then why does he even play? Sam Young and Mike Cook need to both settle for less jump shots and drive more. Too much of the offense is happening very far from the basket, which is a combination of Duke’s good defense plus Pitt’s offense which is playing like crap. The “help defense” being played on Blair has been working very well for Duke and ‘m sure we’ll see plenty more in the 2nd half. Oh, and hitting some free throws would be nice too.

Halftime: Duke 34 — Pitt 22
8:19: Deficit is down to single digits followed by an easy layup for Duke and a turnover by Fields. Just awesome…

8:26: Definitely should have been a charge called on Duke but instead they turn it into a three point play. The Duke fans/family members who are here are complaining now about those last two calls going Pitt’s way but it’s obvious that they’re both make-up calls. Are they going to make us listen to Duke’s football coach now? They haven’t been good in forever — put Wanny on!

8:30: Pitt is in the bonus only five minutes into the half. Foul shots could be key to winning this one since it’s likely we’ll have plenty of chances.

8:39: We’ve seen this team come back like this in the past and we all know they can do it. Easier said than done, though. In other news, Willie Parker was just carted off the field with a toe/ankle injury. Now back to the game that matters. Down 43-36 with 11:30 left.

8:44: Yet another horrible shot from Ramon leads to a stupid intentional foul on Blair. Duke hits 2 FTs and gets possession.

8:50: If we’re doing anything right, it’s that we’re running the fast break so well. Duke got the hype for running the Phoenix Suns type of break but Pitt is doing it better tonight. Still missing way too many open shots but it looks like the Blue Devils are starting to do the same. Yet another Duke flop — I feel like I’m watching a soccer game. Hard to complain only down by one with a little under 8:00 to go.

8:57: Please take Ramon out (0-5 from three) before the remote gets thrown through the TV. Pleas please please. If he can’t perform his one strength then he becomes useless. First lead since the very beginning of the game.

9:09: Singler just nailed a huge (HUGE!) three to tie it up. 1:31 left and starting to get nervous.

9:11: Another wide open shot gets missed. Coach K takes his final timeout to set something up for the final 16.6 seconds. Duke has looked good on each of their last few offensive possessions — time to break that streak.

9:13: Overtime…phew.

End of Regulation: Pitt 58, Duke 58

9:19: Ugh…Mike Cook just went down with what looks like a very ugly knee injury. Duke fans, classy as always, start a “Let’s go Duke” chant.

9:27: Blair fouls out with 15 points and 20 rebounds. Tied game with 96 seconds but Duke is at the line to try the 3 point play.

9:40: Levance Fields goes streetball on us, breaks McClure’s ankles to make some room and hits the trey with 4 seconds left. What a clutch shot he hit there and a nice job to create his own space. Duke comes down and hurries an ugly three — game over. Dennis is about to recieve a nice payday from his Duke loving relatives. I’m also going to take it upon myself to make their stay here as bad as I can. I expect tomorrow I’ll wake them up with a “P-I-T-T” cheer.

Final: Pitt 65, Duke 64

Just saw the Dixon postgame interview, and he is literally in tears about what happened to Cook….Hate to say it, but I think it’s serious. Everybody give a big shout out for COOK!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by jumpingjohnnie_class82 12.20.07 @ 9:57 pm

The Steelers Willie Parker is out for the season as well. 2 huge injuries.

Comment by Panthoor 12.20.07 @ 10:02 pm

I’ve never been less happy after a win…literally, this feels like a loss to me. Maybe some day i’ll look back and think about how we beat duke…but not now…

Comment by Stuart 12.20.07 @ 10:02 pm

Willie Parker’s career isn’t over. He gets paid to play and will play again next year.

Comment by Stuart 12.20.07 @ 10:03 pm

I agree his career isn’t over(Parker) but it’s a huge loss for the team. Parker was a sure Pro Bowler this season.

Still, Cook’s injury was more devastating to him. I feel more for Cook than I do Parker, but still sucks for me, since I am a huge Steelers fan.

Comment by Panthoor 12.20.07 @ 10:06 pm

I apologize, i’m not a steelers fan.

Comment by Stuart 12.20.07 @ 10:09 pm

BTW, if I was Dixon, I would have cried as well. I didn’t see the postgame but I am sure he is hurting bad. It shows every recruit that he loves his kids and that he will take care of them all.

Comment by Panthoor 12.20.07 @ 10:10 pm

NP Stuart hehe. I know this is a college blog but wanted to point out 2 big injuries to 2 teams from Pittsburgh. My bad.

I hope Kevin Jones sees this and wonders if Huggins will show him that type of love. Jones made a mistake committing to that weasel.

Comment by Panthoor 12.20.07 @ 10:12 pm

The problem is that Huggy Bear can promise a kid that he’ll be the next Nick Van Exel (sic?). As hollow as that sounds to these old, adult ears, and as much as I love Dixon, he can’t make that same promise. That’s the kind of thing that’ll lure some kids to your program. That and a chance to indulge in one’s latent pyromania, but I digress…

Comment by Shawn 12.20.07 @ 10:18 pm

I can’t wait to go to the Lafayette game…what a month its been…

Comment by Stuart 12.20.07 @ 10:19 pm

mmmmm … fire.

Comment by Panthoor 12.20.07 @ 10:19 pm

But he’ll make you aaron gray! Double double bitch!

Comment by Stuart 12.20.07 @ 10:21 pm

I wonder if they’re any kids in oakland running around right now?

Comment by Stuart 12.20.07 @ 10:23 pm

GREAT WIN!!! Love it

Comment by toothstud 12.20.07 @ 10:31 pm

they’re = there are….sorry…toomuch beer again

Comment by Stuart 12.20.07 @ 10:36 pm

Oh – i almost forgot – FUCK YOU YOU CLASSLESS DOUCHE FANS. I hated them before for all that bullshit, but now i absolutely detest and despise them. May they all burn in hell. Classless fucktards.

Comment by Stuart 12.20.07 @ 10:45 pm

Sorry, no kids running around Oakland-campus is almost empty-but the bars erupted at the end of the game when Fields drained the three.

Comment by Panther Fan 12.20.07 @ 10:55 pm

Blair reminds me of a young charles barkley

Comment by Buzz 12.20.07 @ 11:15 pm

Blair is an animal…he is awesome!!!

Comment by toothstud 12.20.07 @ 11:25 pm

First the Brawl, now Duke….Hail to Pitt. I hope there are a few extra rounds bought at Peter’s Pub tonight….

Comment by Sunshine 12.20.07 @ 11:35 pm

I said this before the game and I am saying it now F DUKE F them in thier A! Duke and UNC are the only schools outside the Big East that I cannot stand. The media and the refs all smoke Coach K’s wang and they get calls when they flop and when there isn’t a foul. We could have beat them last year in the tourney and they don’t want to see us year. Hell our team took the first half off and we beat them.

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 12.21.07 @ 12:18 am

Fields hit the winning shot, but he looked like Krauser most of the game. He hogged the ball and looked terrible most of the night thank god he hit that shot.

BTW, I never hated on him just said he is slow and cant jump which is still true. Also, I ranked him in the top 6 PG’s in the nation.

Comment by 0aklandZoo 12.21.07 @ 1:05 am

Top 6… because he’s slow and can’t jump, right?

Comment by ChrisA 12.21.07 @ 10:04 am

Oakland Zoo Krauser was good as well. Only player in Pitt history with 1500 points, 500 assists and 500 rebounds. That’s not easy to do.

Comment by omar 12.21.07 @ 4:23 pm

Truly a monumental win for the players, Dixon, and the program in general. I was so wired I could hardly sleep last night.

For all the idiots on this board and other boards I post on who can’t help themselves from slinging mud/hate/foul language at the players/coach/program thais Pitt BB……UP YOURS JERKS!!!!!

Comment by Kenny 12.21.07 @ 4:33 pm

I feel bad for cook, but he sucked. He hogged the ball every possession, loves trying ridiculous layups and never hits them. He had one good game against Gtown last yr. Other than that he was bogus.

Comment by Steve 12.21.07 @ 6:49 pm

[…] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptLiveblog/Open Thread: Pitt-Duke Filed under: Basketball, Big East, ACC, Non-con, Opponent(s), liveblog — Dennis @ 6:40 pm 6:40: Family (huge Duke fans) from North Carolina are here for Christmas and I’ll be watching the game with them tonight. I am prepared to win or lose excessive amounts of money tonight depending on the outcome. 6:50: On PTI today, Tony Korheiser gave Pitt a 4% chance of winning and Michael Wilbon gave us at 25% chance. Jay Bilas says on SportsCenter that Duke is also bu […]

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