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March 22, 2008

Not good so far this evening for the Big East with Notre Dame and Marquette falling.

Hopefully that was just a Pac-10 aberration.

9:27: Okay, just ugly shooting so far. Neither team looks particularly comfortable. There’s a good amount of bumping and physical activity. Pitt down 4-2 but Sam Young shooting foul shots after the break.

9:39: Pitt down 13-12, 10:20 until halftime.

Pitt 6-6 on free throws. Shooting struggles continue. Pitt forced a short flurry of turnovers and that resulted in Michigan State starting to hold onto the ball a bit more rather than trying to move the ball more. Right now the Spartans are hitting shots and Pitt is not.

9:47: Right now, the question is whether Pitt can shoot above 25% from the field before halftime. On the stunning side, Pitt is 8-8 on FTs.

9:55: Crap, but Neitzel is shooting well tonight. I guess on the positive side, MSU has been hot while Pitt is cold this half. Yet it is still quite close.

10:08: Fields did nearly everything in that half. That steal was tremendous, and he finished this time. Of course, the rest of the team stood there and watched as Kailan Lucas took it all the way and right to the hoop.

Pitt down 30-28. All told, Pitt should be happy to be down only 2. 9-29 shooting and being outrebounded. MSU shooting fantastic. 12-25 shooting, 4-5 on 3s.

Pitt has stayed close because of getting turnovers and shooting 8-8 from the line.

The team has to shoot better in the second half.

10:35: How can Pitt still be missing these shots? More activity on defense, but no conversions on offense.

11:32: Sorry, Pitt finally went on a run when I backed off any posts, so I went with it.  That didn’t last. Kiddie stuff then interfered with any more posting.
So the season comes to an end. Looked like the legs were finally giving out on the players. So many shots that just seemed to hit the front of the rim.

Michigan State made the tough shots. Have to give the Spartans credit. Neitzel had the hot shooting game, they needed. Kalin Lucas was able to attack off the dribble and was simply faster.
Pitt missed the open looks. Unbelievable number of open looks — especially from the perimeter — that Pitt left short.  Pitt shot 2-17 on 3s, which was somewhat offset by shockingly good FT shooting — 18-19.

DeJuan Blair struggled with too much size inside from Michigan State, and being the only Pitt player inside all too often. When Levance Fields is the second leading rebounder, that never bodes well.
Hate to see Ronald Ramon and Keith Benjamin go out like this. Neither of them able to do much on offense.





Alright everyone enough with the defeatism and nervousness, or Chas will have you shot for sedition.

Lets go Pitt!!!

Comment by Ryan M. 03.22.08 @ 9:23 pm

wow…im in florida but they just switched back to see the end of the 20 POINT DIFF. KANSAS GAME! JEEZ

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 9:24 pm

Not too sharp to start…missed shots, fields/ramon wrong page, touch foul by the official…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 9:25 pm

They doing an awfully good job of shoving guys running the baseline out of bounds to disrupt timing on our sets. We need to destroy one of those guys and try to get a foul…

Too bad that when we’re getting open looks, we’re missing them. I’m hoping our shot comes back quick and we dont go all ND here…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 9:30 pm

Me too bmac. Wishing I was “Dave in Pittsburgh” right now ;-) Watching on-line at CBS when it’s not on the local CBS affiliate.
Looking a little tight to start the game. Need to get that first jumper to go and we’ll be okay.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:30 pm

yeah….it’s on now but i hope they dont switch when the UCLA game starts…if they do hopefully it turns into a blowout

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 9:31 pm

i have the online too but its a little delayed. still not bad

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 9:32 pm

Biggs in early. No Brown yet.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:32 pm

What was that out of bounds call? Cost us three points. Bad call.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:34 pm

Good work on the offensive glass Sammy. Make him pay at the line.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:34 pm

Brown makes an impact as soon as he enters the game.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:36 pm

good to see the fouls early for MSU…and us making the foul shots

YOUNG!! SLAM!

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 9:37 pm

Wow. Great D and a big dunk by Young. Then great block by Biggs.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:37 pm

Sammy has to take the big man off the dribble.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:39 pm

Why give the ball to Biggs with the clock running down?

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:41 pm

defense (duh) will win this game…

and TAKE BIGGS OUT. what was that shot?!?!

and i’m calling it now. gilbert brown is my new favorite player!

Comment by Caroline 03.22.08 @ 9:41 pm

I see MSU has scouted that Biggs makes about 1 shot in a million…they’re gonna let him shoot all night until he starts making them…sadly he’s best with face up jumpers from 5-10′.

They’re starting to let MSU get away with a lot of shoving compared to earlier…not as good for us somehow…looks to me like we’re getting out “physicaled”.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 9:42 pm

Why does Dixon pull Fields and Young at the same time??? No one willing to take the initiative on offense other leads to Biggs shooting threes.

Comment by Panther Fan 03.22.08 @ 9:42 pm

Also, Biggs needs to stop listening to the MSU cheerleaders as they do a countdown. I rather have Ramon shoot a tough three point shot at this point in the game if the shot clock is running down.

Comment by Panthoor 03.22.08 @ 9:42 pm

Benji’s forcing things early.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:46 pm

Young’s off tonight. Why settle for a 18-foot jumper with Suton (sp?) on him.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:48 pm

UGH….not good to see Young missing all those jumpers

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 9:48 pm

Holy crap is young off….our shooting not looking good…D keep us in it…

How come they get the moving screen call, but we don’t on that last 3 pointer? Anybody? I guess we don’t dive well enough…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 9:49 pm

We got this man. Just don’t rush your shots. Let’s see what Blair can do inside first.

Comment by Panthoor 03.22.08 @ 9:49 pm

Not too worried about Young yet, I’m confident he’ll heat up. I’m a little more worried about getting no open looks outside the arc.

Comment by Will 03.22.08 @ 9:49 pm

I saw the same thing Stuart. More worried about our atrocious shooting, though. Way too impatient. Settling for jumpers.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:50 pm

BTW – it was youngs man that was wide open to drain the 3…he didn’t recover to him at all…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 9:50 pm

curse you Greg Gumbel! I don’t care about UCLA-Tex AM

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 9:52 pm

Stuart, good call on that moving screen by msu right after they call us for one

Comment by TMGPanther 03.22.08 @ 9:52 pm

UGH…i can’t stand these look ins to games i have NO DESIRE AT ALL to see. Unreal how CBS is able to screw it up as much as they can.

Just in time to see Blair put it in!

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 9:52 pm

thank goodness only a quick switch

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 9:52 pm

Of course, Young is off and he has nine points ;-)
Good D on the shot clock violation.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:53 pm

Glad we got Naymick in foul trouble early, his backup is awful.

Comment by Will 03.22.08 @ 9:54 pm

Man. How is this a two-point game? MSU is shooting very well.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:55 pm

neitzel such a stud

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 9:56 pm

Neitzel…….4/4 on 3′s already

ridiculous

Comment by Ryan M. 03.22.08 @ 9:56 pm

Neitzel is heating up. This could get ugly if we don’t pick it up. It’s the one thing we can’t afford to allow.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 9:56 pm

Whats worse, missing that open 3 or the layup on the follow? How are we in this shooting like dog shit?

Holy shit, Ramon chasing that kid around isn’t going to get us anywhere….we need fields or blair to help on that…or he’s going to keep burying that same shot over and over again…

Unreal that we’re missing all our open shots when we get them….i guess we were due.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 9:57 pm

3 my bad.

either way they are shooting lights out compared to the Temple game.

Comment by Ryan M. 03.22.08 @ 9:58 pm

yep and Ramon and Pitt is what 0-4 on three’s? It’s early but on a messageboard this week I posted my only fear is that when Pitt grows cold its a collective thing.

I am getting a bit nervous on this one…they just look flat…or maybe MSU D is just that stifling.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 9:58 pm

ha!! we’re 8/8 from the foul line!!! finally!!!!

Comment by Caroline 03.22.08 @ 10:00 pm

Blair was fouled on that put-back.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:00 pm

Wow. Big three from Fields.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:00 pm

I love Fields…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:01 pm

Great tie-up by Blair!

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:01 pm

Need to drive to the hoop more, legs are looking tired on jumpshots. Aggression should add to State’s foul troubles. Benjamin looks awful, more Gilbert Brown please.

Comment by Panther Fan 03.22.08 @ 10:03 pm

Since I was negative earlier…on a positive note if Pitt can keep this close or tie/lead at half with shooting so poorly that could be a good thing.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 10:03 pm

Blair gets fouled a lot and it isnt called cause he’s too big to move unless you tackle him. If he was built like a little girl, he’d shoot 1000 FTs.

Fields is the only one on our team shooting over 33%. Yikes. Young needs to get hot and go off for 40. He’s getting his normal shots, he’s just not making them.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:04 pm

Blair needs to finish!

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:04 pm

Wow…blair with a case of the yips…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:04 pm

Good D by Young.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:05 pm

Christ, two consecutive missed layups by Blair. This has to stop.

Comment by Will 03.22.08 @ 10:05 pm

Young, does it get more open than that?

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:06 pm

Fields looks very good.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:06 pm

BOX OUT!!!!!!!

Thank GOD for Fields being back!!! yea baby!!!

Comment by Caroline 03.22.08 @ 10:06 pm

coast to coast like buttered toast

Comment by dad 03.22.08 @ 10:07 pm

I was just going to say that Brown has really picked up his play on defense…

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:07 pm

Young has resorted to his jump shot that hasn’t been on tonight. He got his points at the line, he needs to go back to driving….

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:07 pm

since when can blair not make a layup

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 10:08 pm

Blair needs to be more than a garbage man…

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:08 pm

Holy fucking shit Blair is horrendous right now.

Comment by Will 03.22.08 @ 10:08 pm

Blair seems to be doing his best Aaron Gray impression

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 10:08 pm

Wow, between Youngs jump shot and Blairs inability to make a layup….i think i’m going to vomit.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:09 pm

Fields is a machine…but what the hell happened to our D there?

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:10 pm

This game is going to be a heartbreaker.

Comment by Panthoor 03.22.08 @ 10:10 pm

seriously…he seems to be going too strong when a soft touch is required…and when he needs to go strong he is soft.

He definitely is too amped up right now

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 10:11 pm

awesome, fields houses the layup after a steal right before halftime.

and they respond by driving it right down our throat and basically doing the same thing…..

Lets just hope their shooting goes cold in the second half is all I can say..

Comment by Ryan M. 03.22.08 @ 10:11 pm

we’re shooting 30% and MSU 52% and we are only done 2. Ill take that for now

Comment by TMGPanther 03.22.08 @ 10:11 pm

get ready folks. this one is gonna be a nail biter!!!!!!!!!

so do you think we can get some offense goin’ the 2nd half?? Blair definitely needs to do a little finishing.. just go up a little stronger. He definitely needs to work on his jump hook shot over the summer.

Comment by Caroline 03.22.08 @ 10:12 pm

We have no business being down 2 considering the first half shooting. Really need to pick up the energy level for everyone besides Fields.

Comment by Panther Fan 03.22.08 @ 10:13 pm

Great play by Fields and then matador defense on the other end by the whole team. That was weak.
Well, they’re shooting 50 percent from the field. Can’t let that continue.
A lack of turnovers and good free throw shooting are keeping us in the game. Not to mention inspired play by Fields.
We look sluggish. Hopefully Salesi (sp?) can come up with some miracles in the training room at the half. Some choice words from Dixon would help as well.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:13 pm

Somebody needs to kick that MSU mascot in the nutz…hard. WTF was that crap after Fields made the steal/layup?

Comment by Campbell 03.22.08 @ 10:13 pm

blair has aaron gray disease, he can’t make a layup

Comment by Mike 03.22.08 @ 10:14 pm

We have ONE GUY shooting over 25%, and we’re down TWO. This is unreal. I didn’t think our D was that bad that half (i can think of 3 or 4 plays at best), we gave up 30, which i usually consider fine. Yeah, they shot a high percentage – we need to do a better job on those 3s, but other than that we held them to 40% and got a bunch of turnovers. Their effective FG% is even lower.

The second biggest thing is we’re getting killed on the boards. -7? Unacceptable. We have to fight harder.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:17 pm

Blair is the key! As he goes …so goes Pitt..

Comment by dan 72 03.22.08 @ 10:20 pm

i would LOVE UCLA to go down… that would kill so many brackets!!! (except mine!)

Comment by Caroline 03.22.08 @ 10:21 pm

If MSU starts to miss a shot or two in the second half Pitt will win this thing.

Comment by Campbell 03.22.08 @ 10:22 pm

Without Neitzel, MSU would be down around 5ish at the half. Our defense is fine, we just have to continue to attack inside and force them to foul us some more. This is not an ugly game, it’s just that both teams are playing good defense.

Comment by Panthoor 03.22.08 @ 10:22 pm

Sam Young needs to demand the ball.

& a profound ‘Thank You’ to Fields for keeping us in the first half. But don’t end the half by bitching about no foul call and then get burned for a lay up. The fewer the foul calls, the better for Pitt.

Comment by Desmondo 03.22.08 @ 10:23 pm

UCLA will go down..maybe not tonight but soon.
No team has ever gone to 3 final fours.Let’s all concentrate on Pitt though ….they will need all our karma to win this one!

Comment by dan 72 03.22.08 @ 10:23 pm

We need to play better help D on Neitzel, we can’t let Ramon chase him all day, thats guaranteed buckets.

What i don’t understand is how that kid can make that shot (running, spinning and firing, knowing someone is coming to come across his face), but Ramon, Benji, Young several times, all have had MUCH better looks from 3, and can’t hit the broad side of the barn. On the other hand, Fields refuses to miss. He’s had much worse looks, he just doesn’t care. And lets not even get started on Blair missing layups all day.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:25 pm

And no call on the leg sweep on fields at the layup at the half? Fuck you refs. Call it even…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:26 pm

In ref to the MU “heartbreaker,” who hurts now?

That was just a wonderful finish to a bitch-led team who, for like the billionth time this year, lost with a (wow) full sack of testicles bereft of impregnating sperm, “Just call me “Tom” sulked off the court (again, many times again) in some sort of US civil war quick-step demanding not a zero ounce of respect by opponents. (Really now, a complimentary hand-shake at the end of this one – or a mere-respectful hand-shake to the victor (or a reach-around, for that matter), else someone tell me I’m wrong, ‘cause really would like to give some fragment of credit to these golden-birds (BE brethren, as someone’s already referred RE WVU)…just a singular hand-shake btw HCs stands in the way.

MU newbie’s deserve no such near credit as UConn, Orange etc. Made the BE conference better? Jut a tad only more competitive.

So happy they went packing regardless of conference.

I said it before for lack of jogging the brain for something better than “gay” references, but like coach so goes the team. (Congratulations for your loss to basic Ivy Leaguers (peanut gallery be silenced FFS’s).)

MU must look for a coach that will not incessantly embarrass and discredit his team, nor most importantly the GD BEAST.

Well, let’s just watch this contest unfold v MSU. And because I think we lose by four it must then be our win by that margin or more.

Comment by Neil 03.22.08 @ 10:26 pm

let’s not get too negative, we all knew this game was going to be close – we’ve got a half down with only a two point deficit and minimal foul trouble, we’re nailing all our free throws and we’ve done well controlling the msu offense – everything else being equal, we step up our fg% and get a killer half time speech from dixon and we’re in like flint

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by KM 03.22.08 @ 10:31 pm

Dan — Didn’t UCLA win like nine titles in a row during the Sixties and Seventies?

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:33 pm

unreal….how open do you have to be…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:34 pm

Young short on everything…

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:34 pm

What. A. Nightmare.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:35 pm

Young does not allow your ball to go in our bucket.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:35 pm

Man. Blair is having an awful night…

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:36 pm

alright………these HAVE to start falling soon

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 10:36 pm

We are in real trouble right now…great D no O.
Back to the same old problem for Pitt ..not scoring enought points in big games.

Need Brown to step in…or we are dead.

Comment by dan 72 03.22.08 @ 10:38 pm

Another missed layup.

There is nothing more to say. We must start making WIDE OPEN JUMP SHOTS and LAYUPS or we’re going home. We’ve gone ice cold.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:39 pm

typically when you are short from that range it suggests “tired” legs.

I hope that’s wrong but Pitt has no O tonight…

Ramon looks f’ing horrible…

They need to turn this around soon…it’s starting to slip away.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 10:39 pm

Just checked the box score.

MSU shooting 42%

Pitt shooting 27.3%

absolutely attrocious.

There is no reason for BLAIR to miss these lay ups. Just as someone mentioned earlier, he is doing his best Aaron Gray impression tonight.

Comment by Ryan M. 03.22.08 @ 10:40 pm

we need fields now more than ever. he needs to take the game over.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:41 pm

This is not how I want to end the season. Let’s make a run.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:41 pm

Good shot Blair.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:42 pm

A ton of time left. I doubt that MSU can keep this up. Simply put, they are not that good.

Comment by Campbell 03.22.08 @ 10:44 pm

There you go Sammy. Take it to the hoop. Don’t settle for the jumper. He can’t guard you.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:47 pm

Great effort by Biggs.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:47 pm

Dumb foul by Biggs…

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:48 pm

Wicked trap fellas!

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:49 pm

Suton stinks and is a bum

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 10:49 pm

This is what i need to see…double the effort. Still can’t hit shit…Fields carrying us…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:50 pm

Fields is willing this team on right now.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:50 pm

Nice little hook from Biggs. Jekyll and Hyde from him tonight.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:53 pm

Did they just call Brown for getting a forearm shiver to the face? WTF?

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:53 pm

wow Blair has 10 tonight? He missed like what 6-8 layups tonight.

Wow he would be close to 20 if he made half of those attempts…

Here’s hoping the butterflies are starting to fade…

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 10:55 pm

According to Yahoo!, that last foul was on Blair. He has three.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:55 pm

Benji with a game-tying runner. Nice!

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:57 pm

Young, once again, does it get more open than that?

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 10:58 pm

What was that foul on the breakaway? Replay shows Young was fouled. Go figure..

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 10:59 pm

young keeps taking jumpers even though those stiffs have proven they can’t handle his drive… so he shoots more? he must want to go home.

Comment by christopher 03.22.08 @ 10:59 pm

Holy crap IT DOESN’T GET MORE OPEN THAN THAT

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:00 pm

Bad shot by Fields.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:01 pm

Too many flops by our big men.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:01 pm

Can the Damn fast break …we have 8 turnovers trying it…MSU gets back too fast…

Comment by dan 72 03.22.08 @ 11:03 pm

We need to figure out REAL FUCKIGN QUICKLY that flops aren’t getting called and jump shots aren’t falling, unless your named Fields. I can’t ever blame that kid for shooting…the rest of these fools…unreal that our “SHOOTING GUARD” can’t hit a wide open shot. Young missing EVERYTHING unless he’s driving…this is awful.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:03 pm

i could cry for ramon… oh, where, oh WHERE is his shot?!

Comment by Caroline 03.22.08 @ 11:03 pm

Ramon 0-7. Trailing Neitzel all night is wearing him down. He’s doing a good job, but we could sure use his offense. Blair and Young a combined 8 for 24. Not good from your center and power forward.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:04 pm

Pitt has another run or two left. Plenty of time.

Comment by Campbell 03.22.08 @ 11:04 pm

What a night to have your worst shooting game in weeks….

For the glass half full people: we’re “due” – obviously. Its not possible to miss ALL YOUR OPEN SHOTS FOR AN ENTIRE GAME, RIGHT?

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:04 pm

At least we’ve hit our FTs so far…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:06 pm

Again. Score from the line with the clock stopped. Goodie.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:06 pm

Damn… Neitzel for three.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:07 pm

Awful.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:08 pm

Bad possession for Pitt.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:08 pm

Good block by Blair.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:09 pm

Unreal…they hit 3s with hands in their face…and we can’t hit an open one…

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:09 pm

Here we go again. Chris Quinn all over again…

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:10 pm

Neitzel never seems to miss. On the plus side, Pitt is 16 for 17 in free throws.

Comment by Sean 03.22.08 @ 11:11 pm

What the hell was that call?

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:11 pm

Need a big stand on defense here.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:12 pm

Good job fellas.
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:13 pm

It never ceases to amaze me…we have gone so fuckgin ice cold, its unreal…we’re getting MCUH better looks than the ones they’re BURYING. I can’t stand this. How many times am i going to watch this same game.

We’re going to need a Fields miracle to pull this one out.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:14 pm

We need “a Sven” on Neitzel.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:14 pm

Need to gut this one out…stay close and MSU will fold…very very worried for Pitt!!

Let’s all think positive thoughts only…Pitt exhausted…why does one shooter always kill us!!!

Comment by dan 72 03.22.08 @ 11:15 pm

Ramon’s not having a good night shooting but you gotta give him credit…he’s been chasing Neitzel all night. Must be exhausted.

Comment by TJ 03.22.08 @ 11:15 pm

If we hit even a QUARTER of our wide open shots, we’re WAY AHEAD in this one.

Its far from over, but someone else is going to have to make at least one shot, or they’re just going to double fields.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:15 pm

Take the ball at Lucas. He has four fouls and he’s allowing Neitzel to work off the ball because he’s such a threat to drive.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:16 pm

yes, sam. driving against that stiff really does work.

Comment by christopher 03.22.08 @ 11:16 pm

Well I agree with what has been said…

Ramon guarding Nietzel has completely worn him out on the offensive side of the ball.

It’s been a team effort tonight

Young has been cold outside all night…he is a 39% 3-pt shooter he makes even 1 of 5 they are tied.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 11:17 pm

A Curse on Neitzel…
there that should work

Comment by Cerano 03.22.08 @ 11:17 pm

Chas. Your server is getting hammered.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:18 pm

Crap. Not a good game for us.

Comment by Panthoor 03.22.08 @ 11:18 pm

Uh-oh.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:19 pm

Awful…nice shot ramon.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:19 pm

Wow, what a charge…wait to get jobbed.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:19 pm

Bullshit call on Fields. What the fuck is up with officials this year?

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:20 pm

garbage. this sucks

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 11:20 pm

That should have been a reach-in on Neitzel, not a charge by Fields. What the hell?

Comment by Sean 03.22.08 @ 11:20 pm

Our perimeter game never happened. That is why we are in this situation. A day when you are almost perfect on FT’s too.

Comment by Panthoor 03.22.08 @ 11:21 pm

Next time I want to get involved with any team, I am going to nail my dick to the floor and then repeatedly punch myself in the face.

This really sucks!!!

Comment by Jeremy 03.22.08 @ 11:22 pm

With the way we’ve been shooting, i don’t think the refs had to help them…but i guess thats icing on the cake. Now i’ll have to listen to “how their defense suffocated” us, when anyone who watched this game has to wonder how we can miss 50 open shots in a row.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:22 pm

Been a great season…just devestating though!!

Comment by dan 72 03.22.08 @ 11:22 pm

Hey, way to follow it up with another miss from 3.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:23 pm

Couldn’t make a f’ing 3

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 11:23 pm

crapcrapcrapcrap

Comment by bmac21 03.22.08 @ 11:23 pm

Tough… maybe the superdelegates will give Pitt the win at the convention… oh, wait…

Comment by Cerano 03.22.08 @ 11:24 pm

Unbelievably weak shooting. We’re going to hear all about MSU’s great defense. Truth is, we couldn’t hit an open shot to save our lives. Really disappointing… again.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:24 pm

When are we ever gonna get a guy that can pick the team up and carry it when the rest are cold? Every f’ing year…they collectively lay an egg on offense.

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 11:24 pm

Hey, another miss. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Good thing we can’t hit anything.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:24 pm

game is over

simple examination of what happened.

Pitt played sub-par, nailed their foul shots, but missed wide open looks and layups.

MSU made shots with hands in their face, and generally played better than Pitt.

MSU advances. Fuck Neitzel

Comment by Ryan M. 03.22.08 @ 11:24 pm

i think dickerson can make a impact as an h-back this year.

Comment by dc 03.22.08 @ 11:25 pm

Next to UCONN I am getting so tired losing to MSU also!!

Comment by dan 72 03.22.08 @ 11:25 pm

lupe with the lunch ladys!

Comment by dc 03.22.08 @ 11:25 pm

And they cut away for the UCLA game. Perfect.
Ramon finally a basket.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:26 pm

We are Big East Champs and nobody can take that away from us. This has to be a disappointing way to end the season though.

Maybe Young doesn’t go pro now because he can’t leave things like this.

Comment by Panthoor 03.22.08 @ 11:26 pm

I’m trying to remember how good I felt after the big east tournament win.

Comment by matt 03.22.08 @ 11:28 pm

Well don’t think Young will leave now…he didn’t play all that well

Blair has got some maturing as well

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 11:28 pm

Well, the seniors don’t have shit to complain about….they scored a total of 4 points. Thats not the production you need from your “sharpshooter.” Guess i’ll see you all next season.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:29 pm

frontcourt – congratulations on letting goran suton get 14 and 9 on you. goran suton! unreal.

backcourt – everyone but fields must really like pittsburgh, because their all their games screamed of wanting to be back home.

Comment by christopher 03.22.08 @ 11:29 pm

I agree with Ryan M. I hate Neitzel.

Comment by Sean 03.22.08 @ 11:30 pm

Well. That’s truly disappointing. Good season. Great efforts. I’m rooting for Cook to get the red shirt. Thanks for four great years Ramon and Benjamin!

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.22.08 @ 11:30 pm

Front rim all night.. no legs…
Combination of the BET run and the thin air?
Who knows all in all a disappointing end to a good season, considering… it stings like a B’ tho don’t it..

Comment by Cerano 03.22.08 @ 11:31 pm

Stuart is right (without being vulgar about it, who would of known?)

Ramon and Benjamin finish a combined 2/10 with 4 points.

That senior leadership and experience for you in the NCAA tournament!

Only person who played worth a damn was Levance and he got called for a BS charging foul on Neitzel.

Comment by Ryan M. 03.22.08 @ 11:32 pm

MSU has many McDonald’s All Americans. Heart can only go so far. Let’s give our due.

HAIL TO PITT!

Comment by steve 03.22.08 @ 11:34 pm

What a catch-22 proposition wrt the BE tourney…

you want to go in hot but playing those 4 nights of murderere’s row (any of the top BE teams) may have made this team a bit fatigued.

MSU had good D but Pitt had a lot of open looks that they were short on.

So is the BE championship and subsequent 4th seed worth it?

I don’t have an answer…just asking the question.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 11:34 pm

Tearful and thankful…especially to all of you on this blog who have made the ups, the downs and the heartbreak a lot easier to take!

Hail to Pitt….a team full of guts and defense.
Let’s find some offense in big games and take it all the way in 09!

Out of scotch …wife bitching…going to bed!

Comment by dan 72 03.22.08 @ 11:36 pm

There is nothing we can do about this. Ramon was key in this game and he played poorly. Our defense wasn’t that bad. Fields just couldn’t do it all. I will probably mope around the house for the rest of the night.

Looking ahead…Blair, Young, Fields and Brown back next season looks good. Throw in Nasir Robinson and some new guards to watch and we could have a stellar season.

Comment by Panthoor 03.22.08 @ 11:36 pm

It would be a lot easier to take if the zebras didn’t blow all those calls at the end.

Anyways, Congrats to MSU. Thank you for a great year Pitt. Good Luck to Ramon and Benji, 2008 Big East Champions.

Comment by Campbell 03.22.08 @ 11:36 pm

i guess i can go back to having a social life and not caring about the tourney….

maybe next year…

Comment by Caroline 03.22.08 @ 11:36 pm

Well I think where it got out of hand was the open 3 Ramon missed and then the result led to a break-away layup to put MSU up by 7

5 point swing…the most important 3 all night that we needed and he was wide open for it.

Making that single shot on a lousy night (1-8) would have put us down to 2 with about 1:30 left I think.

Wow I still can’t believe he didn’t make a single 3

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 03.22.08 @ 11:38 pm

Hey…remember…We are the BIG EAST CHAMPS and that’s fantastic for this team. (maybe that spoiled us fans a little). Bummer for Benji and Ramon as seniors to end like this.
Hate Neitzel and Goran. Oh, Izzo too.

Comment by TJ 03.22.08 @ 11:39 pm

thank god for spring practice

Comment by dc 03.22.08 @ 11:39 pm

what happened tonight was tragic – going from the euphoria of BET champions and a first-round domination of oral roberts to an offensively incompetent second-round matchup is heartbreaking – there is no other way to put it

yet despite this loss, no one can take from us what we have accomplished this season – pitt went from being a final four contender to an nit bid back to bob knight’s tournament champ in the span of three months – when everyone wanted to write us off (including myself), jamie dixon and the players refused to allow their season to end and in doing so gave the university, the fans and the city something to believe in

do i wish we had won? absolutely – but not for one moment can we discredit the coaches or the players because despite all the frustrations, all the painful losses, this has been and will always remain one of pitt’s most storied seasons

until next season . . .

HAIL TO PITT!

Comment by KM 03.22.08 @ 11:41 pm

plus i got sick of watching those damn Coke/AT & T commercials…

oh and.. FUCK those refs!!

(at least we didn’t get beat like Texas A & M just did by UCLA… shit, there goes my bracket.)

Comment by Caroline 03.22.08 @ 11:42 pm

at least the broads won today

Comment by dc 03.22.08 @ 11:43 pm

Our shooting was horrible, but we were out rebounded 33-20 and the MSU D underneath was solid all night. Very diffiuclt to take since we missed so many wide open threes and Blair couldn’t seem to get it in the basket down low. To add insult to injury we shot 94% from the foul line. I hope i don’t have to listen to the dixon haters again.

Comment by TMGPanther 03.22.08 @ 11:44 pm

Neitzel for MSU seemed to be that piece that Pitt always seems to be missing.

You know, the guy who will just rain threes on you no matter what. Guys in his face, no problem. You want to reach through your TV and punch guys like that when they’re on the other team.

Ramon was supposed to be that guy for us when he came in, and don’t get me wrong he had a decent college career with us, but he was never that guy. I like Ron and it’s sad to see him leave after a terrible performance like tonight’s.

Fields is all heart. He was Gary Robers and Hines Ward combined out there (sorry for the Pens/Steeler reference). I was scared for next year when he went down late, but he got back up…. kids like him always get back up.

Blair is young and he’ll get better. He seemed to be missing a lot of stuff under the basket. That seemed to happen with Aaron Gray late in seasons too when he played for Pitt. The difference is Gray was a Jr/Sr. while Blair’s still a freshman. He’s going to make us all happy fans before it’s said and done.

I look forward to seeing Gilbert Brown progress. And I really hope Sam Young stays. If he feels he can get the money and leave, I don’t blame him though.

This was supposed to be a an “off year” for us, and it turned out to be a roller coaster.

High when we beat Duke in the Garden, low when Cook goes down then Fields in the Dayton blowout. High when we kill Georgetown without Fields, low when we slump later on in conference play. High when Fields gets back to normal and we rampage through the Big East tourney, low when the ride finally crashes tonight against Michigan State.

If there was one thing you can say about this season, it wasn’t boring!

We’ll be back (and hopefully Sam Young will be too) and we’ll be deeper and more experienced. This one hurts, but it feels more like a beginning than an end.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my Dad 03.22.08 @ 11:44 pm

Pitt didn’t have the legs, obviously, tonight. They shot 2-17 from 3 and I can count at least six that were uncontested. The make two of those and its a different ball game. That said, the free throws were amazing (18 of 19!) and that shows the concentration level. Too bad they ran into a team that played so far above its head that I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose by 15 in the next round. MSU shot 6-for-10 form 3 and 9-9 from the line.

That being said, if Pitt has better possessions down the stretch they could have won a game in which they shot 32 percent from the field. Still, we all know this wasn’t a Final Four team and they got a Big East title out of the season. Benjamin had a great senior year and it sucks Ramon’s last game was this bad, but he played great in the BE Tourney and had a great career. Even if he makes one of those open 3s, it’s a different game and I know that will kill him, but they weren’t going to beat Memphis in the next round.

Comment by anonymnous 03.22.08 @ 11:45 pm

I will not ‘trash’ the seniors. This team did win the BE tourney and it was probably due mainly to the leadership that they provided.

But, I am SICK AND TIRED of watching us lose in Round 1, 2 or 3. Yes, I realize that things could be worse. We could be cheering for PSU basketball. Instead, we are cheering for a fine program in Pitt. But, dammit! Why can’t we win when it counts? I am WAITING for Pitt to live up to it’s potential.

OK…..maybe that rant got it out of my system. We don’t have the All-American High Schoolers coming to Pitt for basketball. We have to survive on the second tier….but still, I am frustrated. I don’t want to think of ‘next year’. I just want to open up another adult beverage and wallow (vicariously) in the pain my team must be feeling.

Comment by lucabrasi 03.22.08 @ 11:45 pm

When does football start?

I’m not even goign to complain about the refs, we should be better than a handful of bad calls. How can any team win a game when their shooting guard can’t shoot? MSU realized in the second half that Fields was the only option and played D on him. The dared us to shoot WIDE OPEN SHOTS all night, and no one could make them. Thier shooting guard was hammering shots falling sideways, hands in his face, etc. It wasn’t even that awful of D on him. Its the same old story. 6/7ths of the team goes cold, we lose. End of story. I just want to know when i can stop watching this same game over and over and over again.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:46 pm

Another year, another NCAA disappointment. It’s like our sad tradition. So many open looks. Just heart breaking. All this and I agreed to go to church tomorrow… at 8:00. Might as well extend the misery into tomorrow, I guess.

And, again, the MFing Hoopies go further in the big dance than we do. I can’t stand it. Just can’t stand it.

Good night. Fuck Neitzel, and that freshman.

Comment by Carmen 03.22.08 @ 11:48 pm

Go Broads….still up!

Comment by dan 72 03.22.08 @ 11:48 pm

I cannot, in good conscience, trash this team right now.

I think my post above said it all. They had heart, it didn’t pan out in the end, but they had heart. You can’t ask for too much more than that (well, other than a championship finally!!! haha)

Ironic thing was that we nailed our free throws all night and still lost! Weren’t we sure that ft’s could be our undoing in the tourney after we won the BE tourney?

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my Dad 03.22.08 @ 11:51 pm

BTW, it does sting when the hoopies go further than us in the dance.

We’re good year in and year out and can’t get past the Sweet 16, yet they show up once every 3 years and do better than us.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my Dad 03.22.08 @ 11:52 pm

Oh, and if you don’t miss 1000 shots, they don’t outrebound you by 100.

BTW – both teams shot 52 times. We also got to the line twice as many times. We just could not hit a goddamn thing. Unreal. Actually, completely real, i’ve seen this before.

And what do you do about the BE tourney? 7 of the last 10 national champs have also won their conference tournies. The last time we lost in the first round, we did the same thing in the NCAAs. We shouldn’t be tired. We weren’t friday. We weren’t 4 days in a row. We just shot like shit.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:54 pm

I just noticed that we only shot 12% form the 3 point line. 2/17. WOW and they shoot 60%. Its unreal how cold we were tonight. Lossing this way sucks.

Comment by TMGPanther 03.22.08 @ 11:54 pm

Things I know:
- I still like Pitt.
- Ramon had a way better season this year I (or anyone else) expected.
- I hope Sam Young sticks around for his senior year.
- Dixon is the coach for Pitt. He should get a lifetime contract (this will get heads boiling!).
- Wanny is ok with me.
- I don’t like WVU or PSU.
- The way I fill out my bracket is too emotionally tied.
- Beer is tasty to munch on.
- PittBlather.com not being available earlier today really upset me.
- My Oakland Zoo tshirt is obnoxiously bad luck. What gives?
- I am done with this list.

Hail to Pitt. Fair play to Michigan State.
-Dez

Comment by Desmondo 03.22.08 @ 11:55 pm

And now the talking heads that didn’t watch the game get to tell us how thier “d is so great” instead of all the open looks we watched clank all night, to add insult to injury.

Comment by Stuart 03.22.08 @ 11:58 pm

Blair needs to go back to his high school coach this summer. He got worse throughout the season. Too AG like.

How can you think about Pitt football? That just more misery for me(except for beating WVU of course).

Press conf on Fox right now
Go Girls!!

Comment by TJ 03.22.08 @ 11:59 pm

Pitt lost this game. Poor shooting from outside but somehow….great free throw shooting!

Blair nor Young is ready for NBA. Come one, neither is polished enough for that.

Pitt needs a go to scored. Dixon has yet to win the game in the tourney that the country considers Pitt has made it. Pitt needs a big time recruit to finish the deal.

Credit to Neitzel and MSU.

Comment by Major Dad 03.22.08 @ 11:59 pm

Pitt played six games in 11 days and then played at 5,000 feet. They looked beat tonight. I mean Ramone shot two air balls on good looks. That being said, I’m not sure how they hit the free throws. Pitt’s lack of depth hurt them and the fact that MSU played out of their minds. I’ve never seen such a pedestrian team. And would it really feel that much better if they would have gotten to the Sweet 16 and lost again? Pitt needs to recruit better players no doubt. Considering the recruits its signed, two Big East Titles, seven-consecutive NCAA trips and four Sweet 16s ain’t bad. Just ask St. Johns or Villanova or WVU. For a program that lacks a natural recruiting base and program tradition this is an astounding accomplishment. And…

- Revenge against GTown in the Big East Final.
- UCONN wins nothing and loses in the first round.
- Syracuse misses the tourney again thanks to a ridiculous loss at home to Pitt.
- The program’s second Big East Tourney title in five years and 7th Finals appearance in 8.

Comment by matt in nyc 03.22.08 @ 11:59 pm

go malorie winn!!

Comment by dc 03.23.08 @ 12:00 am

13 – 9

Comment by dan 72 03.23.08 @ 12:01 am

Right. Explain to me how “physical d on the frontcourt” equates to awful shooting by the backcourt. They could have played us 4 on 5 on D and still won. I hate losing this way. If we just get beat, fine. But to shoot like that…to end your season like that…we beat ourselves to death. Rutgers could have won today. Awful. Just awful.

Comment by Stuart 03.23.08 @ 12:01 am

c’mon, great season, they weren’t supposed to be anything this year; it was a great season. MSU was just more physical and it wore us down. We should have attacked more in the first half but it’s not like we lost to a cupcake. With Cook, this was a final four team; without, probably a top 16 team. Brown will be great, maybe Young will be back, Robinson is supposed to a monstor; if Dixon stays, we’ll be in great shape next year.

Comment by velvil 03.23.08 @ 12:01 am

Even Izzo admitted he thinks Young just missed some open shots. “But i don’t think he had a great night….i think he…maybe missed some shots that i’ve seen on film that he’s made.”

Awesome.

Comment by Stuart 03.23.08 @ 12:05 am

Things I know:

- I’d like Pitt better if they didn’t choke on the national stage every year
- Ramon was better this year, and the team was better for it, but for all his heart and grit, he was ultimately inconsistent and I’m not overly sad to see him go.
- Sam should do what is best for Sam. I’d like to see him stay, but after witnessing what happened to Cook first hand, I wouldn’t blame him for bolting.
- Dixon is the coach for Pitt. Or maybe he isn’t. I don’t really care at this point. If he leaves, I don’t think a guy like Miller would do worse.
- Wanny still has a lot to prove.
- I don’t like WVU either, but once again they march further into the dance than we do.
- I’ve learned my lesson about emotional brackets, and I’m really glad I picked MSU in my bracket. I knew we’d get Izzo’d.
- Beer IS tasty to munch on. Bourbon is tastier.
- PittBlather.com rocks.
- My Oakland Zoo T-shirt no longer fits (see tasty beer comment).
- I’m going to bed.

Hail to Pitt.

Comment by Frustrated_Again 03.23.08 @ 12:12 am

Cook wouldn’t have made that much of a difference. He was a liability on D and he shot about 40 percent from the field. The NCAA tourney is a crap shoot. Every year there are 16 teams seeded as a 1-4 seeds and only one team wins. Pitt got a couple of dubious calls, shot horribly from the field and still had a chance to win the game with 3 minutes to play. Unless a Big East team wins the title, which seems highly unlikely, the Pitt Panthers will have had the most successful season.

The starting 5 next year

Fields, Brown, Young, Blair and Wallace/Biggs/Robinson. Not bad.

Hail to Pitt. Lets just hope the football team can start performing.

Comment by matt in nyc 03.23.08 @ 12:14 am

Time for the good news:

Our 2 freshman scored 3.5x as many points as our 2 seniors. Our top 2 juniors scored 8.5x as much as our 2 seniors. We may be in for a little rought start with a lack of depth next year, but we’ll be much better by the end of the year.

Biggs and Wannamaker better take that ass to the gym/court over the summer, and drag McGhee with them. We’re going to need someone that can do something off the bench. The only weak link of the starters may be Biggs, unless he plays like he did last week every game.

Or we need one of the freshman to come in and be a legitimate, CONSISTENT threat at the 2.

I wonder whos gonna be the starting QB?

Comment by Stuart 03.23.08 @ 12:16 am

PS. We made one shot in the last 9 minutes. Ramons only bucket once it was out of hand. I don’t recall getting 0 open looks.

Comment by Stuart 03.23.08 @ 12:20 am

To Frustrated_Again, what does WVU getting to the Sweet 16 mean? Nothing – unless they get to a Final Four. No one remembers Elite Eight teams, but they remember the Final Four. Pitt won the Big East, which is great for recruiting, and has a bright future next year with it three best players returning. I thought Pitt would get to the next round and lose, so I’m not that upset. Pitt has never been a basketball power and until it starts getting the elite recruits it won’t. But I’m damn happy they are where they are. I mean look at PSU hoops.

Comment by matt in nyc 03.23.08 @ 12:21 am

tonight hurts a biot, but gotta post my sentiments – Congratulations to the Panther team and coaches for a great ending to a rocky and rough season. They were so much better than we expected just a few weeks ago. This was a really tremendous whole team effort year. Winning the BET was such a high and it felt so good going into the NCAA’s… We were on such a high… Just my opinion, but we PITT fans have a lot to look forward to next year. This was a rebuilding year, right? Well they sure rebuilt! They rebuilt so well and so fast that we got such great expectations. IMHO, this team achieved so much more than we expected that we expected more. Just a hunch, depending what happens over the next months, we can expect PITT to be a step above next year and a legit highly ranked team. It hurts a bit tonight, but these are very good years to be a PITT fan. HTP!!!

Comment by IronmanEE68 03.23.08 @ 12:37 am

The shots were there, we just didn’t make them. Nothing new. Michigan State just made more open shots. It was a wonder the game was as close as it was.

Comment by Joey D 03.23.08 @ 12:38 am

I was at the game,therefore unlike some of you I witnessed it live, i do not think pitt was tired, they played with quickness on defense and played a great game defensively. all those blocks and steals, impressive. the fact is they just did not shoot well tonight. the recipe for us losing tonight was nietzel (sp?) shooting well, and us not shooting well. the rebounds were skewed do to our shooting percentage, but i thought we rebounded fairly well. Great season, it just didnt work like we had hoped. another side note, pitt fans were out numbered 20 to 1….would be nice to get more of a following at some point, the alumni association put on nice events both days…..Hail to Pitt…already looking forward to next season.

Comment by drgags 03.23.08 @ 12:40 am

I know I’m drunk now…

But I just don’t know how a team can miss so many open looks like that.

Can you honestly blame it on playing too many games the past week? or playing at 5,000 feet!?!?

If their nerves were getting to them too much, how come they hit so many foul shots?

I’m just sick and tired of PITT beating THEMSELVES in the tournament.

As someone commented earlier, we just witnessed a very PEDESTRIAN team of MSU beat us on national TV because they hit their shots when push came to shove.

I was worried all day (contrary to my first post in this thread) that a Neitzel who went 1/8 all of two nights ago, would light us up when it meant most to his team, and of course it happened.

I’m going to bed, good season, good night.

Comment by Ryan M. 03.23.08 @ 12:41 am

Nietzel was 6-13 from the field. I get what you mean, though. Their D shows that they had energy. But basketball, and sports in general, is such a mercurial undertaking and that’s why us sports fans will always be sucked in by it. If Ramone or Fields hits one of those 3s in the final three minutes it’s a different game and maybe right now we’re talking about a Final Four team. But we’re not and North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis, Kansas, Texas and 63 other teams will be saying the same thing when its all said and done. IMO, this is the best Pitt team of the past seven years. This team would have beat up last year’s team. And it would have taken the 02 and 03 teams apart as well. Hail to Pitt! Like those said above, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year and I witnessed first hand a Panther title in the Garden! If only we could be disappointed that the football team won a Big East Title.

Comment by matt in nyc 03.23.08 @ 12:57 am

DeJuan made two shots in a row down low and they never went back to him. I don’t understand that at all. Bottom line: We just didn’t make enough shots. Regardless, great season. Looking forward to next year.

Comment by Ian 03.23.08 @ 1:04 am

I credit Ramon’s misses to the crazy defense he was playing on Neitzel. He contibuted that way tonight.

Young – 1 rebound. Nuff said.

Comment by Kevin 03.23.08 @ 1:17 am

Ramon still deserves game-changing performance of the regular season. I am pissed that we lost, but this was one helluva season! It had its ups and downs (but what great roller coaster ride doesn’t!?)

Great season guys.

Sam, please come back next year!!!

Everyone else, keep it up. Pittsburgh is finally gaining some respect from the basketball world.

Gary and Brad, please don’t think I’m too creepy for busting into your room intoxicated on St. Patrick’s Day!!! haha

Comment by Tony 03.23.08 @ 1:34 am

… I’m definitely feeling a bit depressed after the Pitt game … they were obviously tired (I found myself asking why they looked less energized than in previous games; didn’t matter that the crowd was mostly pro MSU, … umm how did they get a home game as a lower seed?) … aside from an absolutely incredible Fields effort, the dead giveaway, I think, was their fatigue as indicated by their woeful shooting (Ramon couldn’t hit anything 0-100 threes, Blair missed so many layups, and most of Young’s shots were short–hitting rim–which most analysts point out as indicative of “tired legs”) … well, they did play 7 games in the last 14 days … Despite the disappointment, I had a lot of fun and felt a lot of pride for this Pitt team … I would never trade a Sweet 16 appearance for that unforgettable/thrilling BET championship … of course, I would trade the BET for an Elite 8 appearance (something we just can’t seem to achieve) … as for our conference, BE: 7 of 8 made it past the 1st round … today was disappointing with 3 of 4 (MU, ND, Pitt) losing, with only WVU moving ahead (as a Pitt fan, congrats Eers for making another Sweet 16) … hopefully we get a few more teams into the top 16 … Nova, GU, LU all have legit chances … at this time, for Pitt fans, we have to root for our Conference and forget about our intra-conference grudges, at least for now (recruiting will be better for it) … Finally, Congrats Pitt for toughing-it-out and showing some Defense and Sparks of Greatness throughout the last 14 days … re: Palko, “I so damn proud of this F-ing team” … HTP

Comment by B-Rad 03.23.08 @ 2:21 am

We didn’t shoot as well as we should have. Ramon only had 2 pts in the last few minutes of the game, and that shouldn’t have happened. It was a quiet flight home though, even if it’s just because the team was so tired.

Looking forward to next season. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Anne 03.23.08 @ 7:00 am

This says it all, Young was 4 for 12, including 1 for 5 on 3-pointers. DeJuan Blair was 4 for 11 and missed layups he normally makes. Ramon was 1 for 9.

If Sammie has dreams of going to the NBA, last night showed he is not ready.

I too went to the game, in short they laid an egg over the last 9 minutes of the game.

They had open looks, they beat themselves by shooting poorly

Comment by Ralph 03.23.08 @ 7:52 am

hate to break it to you all, but that GD dickie V. absolutely nailed it in his preview prediction. he just absolutely nailed it.

link to sports.espn.go.com

…it’s not my intention to rub salt into our wound, but FCS the guy sounds like a GD prophet.

Comment by Neil 03.23.08 @ 9:15 am

in retrospect, of course.

Comment by Neil 03.23.08 @ 9:15 am

Hey – we got the Big East Championship this year – which is a lot better than I thought we’d do a couple months ago. I think this team should be better next year. Here is a listing of the top basketball players in the Philly area and south Jersey – Nasir Robinson is ranked #5 and looks like we’re going after his teammate Rahlir Jefferson (#7) and a 6’9″ guy (Aaric Murray) from Glenn Mills (#2 overall). Of course we’re not in the running for the #1 prospect Tyreke Evans, who happens to be a McDonalds All American. We’re also on the list for the #8 guy (a guard).

The site says this about Robinson “Slightly undersized, Robinson does not appear to be a low-post terror. Watch him in action, a different opinion will form. Despite playing against players at least two inches taller, he is a rebounding machine. Averaged 17.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocked shots heading in the PIAA Class AAAA state playoffs.”

Comment by Dishman 03.23.08 @ 10:14 am

Take a look at Ramon’s stats this year. They say a lot about his season.

256 more minutes
3 more FG made
7 less 3s
16 less points

His defensive stats improved, but he was brought onto the team to be a pure shooter. He never provided the offense this year that we thought he would.

Then again, he was invaluable in some games. If not for him, we may have been swept by WVU.

Nevertheless, I don’t think he met expectations.

Comment by matt 03.23.08 @ 10:39 am

I can’t knock this team. Of course, I am not ecstatic about the result, but I don’t think it was for lack of effort. Bottom line is that we get to hang a BET banner early next season, presumably in full view of blue chip basketball and football recruits/commits. When you look at the expectations that the “experts” had for them early this season, they undoubtedly overachieved and that’s a testament to their heart, balls, and solid coaching by Jamie and staff.

I’m already looking forward to football and hoops 2008-2009.

Comment by johnny 03.23.08 @ 11:22 am

What a great year for the Panthers! We thought we’d be rebuilding and ended up winning the BE Tourny and even won a game in the NCAA’s. And the team played the right way. Quit whining and try to remember what it was like when the NIT was a good season. GO PITT!

Comment by Jason Maile 03.23.08 @ 12:46 pm

Two things only. Out rebounded and we were tired. No questions. Short on every shot and didnt get the rebounds. Pitt wins by outrebounding teams and making some of there shots. Thats it for me until next season. BOO HOO and Go Pitt

Comment by Buzz 03.23.08 @ 12:52 pm

And now Nova goes to the sweet 16 as well. MFing NOVA!!!! I’m sorry, but man for man we’re a better team than Nova and WVU, and they get a chance to go on. That’s what the sweet 16 means – a chance, however slim, to move on. This is so frustrating. I can’t imagine how the guys are feeling.

Comment by Carmen 03.23.08 @ 2:30 pm

Is Dixon working on the one or two recruits who will make a difference in the NCAA tourney? For the past few years we’ve been knocking on the door to the basketball elite, now we need to break it down. Many thrills this season and for those long-timers like me, do you remember the “thrilling” season in ’89-’90 when we beat Penn State by two at State in the NIT and finished 18-16? We have come a long way – but we are not there yet.

Comment by TonyinHouston 03.23.08 @ 2:34 pm

It’s all match-ups in the NCAAs and when I saw the brackets come out I was worried because Pitt just doesn’t match up well against a front-line like that.

People talk about physical play in the BE, but nobody in the BE puts that many big bodies on the court at Pitt faced last night. G-town has Hibbert and Pitino plays Padgett OR Caracter, and Adrien plays alongside Thabeet, but nobody has a front line like Izzo put out there.

Suton could have posted Young all night and Blair had a ton of trouble shooting over whoever was near him. You combine that with some hot Neitzel shooting (which has been missing most of this year) and Pitt was in trouble.

I’ll take a BE championship any year, though, so I consider it a very successful campaign given the team Dixon had.

I’ll give him a ton of credit for winning as many games as they did with Blair basically playing alone inside. I mean, what were Young and especially Benjamin supposed to do in the lane last night with all the big bodies around them?

He needs to get some front-line recruits in to support DeJuan now. He got desperate with Diggs and McGhee and they’re not the answer, but I can see why he had to do that because Biggs and Wallace have been disappointments.

It’s no fun playing against a bigger, stronger team……..and I doubt Dixon wants to find himself in that situation again.

I certainly believe Pitt could have won more games in the NCAAs this year had they gotten a different 2nd Rd matchup, but eventually they were going to come up against a team that doesn’t have a 6’7″ center, a 6’6″ PF and a 6’1″ 3-man.

Comment by scottie columbo 03.23.08 @ 2:54 pm

For those of you who know more about the X’s and O’s of b-ball can you help me out?

Looking at last night’s game in retrospect could Dixon have done some things different.

I know we are a man to man team but having your outside scoring threat (Ramon 50% from 3-pt range) cover their little gnat nietzel man to man after playing 6 games in in 10 days seemed to be a bad call.

It appeared to me that once the outside perimeter threat appeared non-existent the MSU team collapsed the inside and made a very good defensive team look great.

Could Dixon have implemented a zone to give Ramon some rest?

Could they have decided to man up Nietzel with someone else? If so who?

It seemed like a tactical decision…

btw, do you think Sam Young’s poor performance bought us one more year?

thanks,
DaveD

PS…wow what a lousy night to make matters worse during the game I am eating dinner and I was getting so frustrated I nearly bit my tongue off…talk about adding salt to the wound :)

Comment by DaveD 03.23.08 @ 3:01 pm

matt, remeber ramon had to play point guard for 12 games or so. that clearly impacted his production this year and has to be factored in to the numbers. all in all Ramon had a very good year for us and step up big time when Fields went down.

Scottie, nice post.

Comment by TMGPanther 03.23.08 @ 3:40 pm

One word. Conditioning.

I hope JD spends the rest of the spring and summer getting these guys into shape. 4 games in 4 days should not be a factor going into the NCAA’s. These are 18-21 year-olds who grew up playing 4 games in one day in AAU ball.

Just look at AG all of last year or most of his Pitt career for that matter. “Lumbering” comes to mind. Then he gets himself into phenomenal shape to enter the NBA draft.

We didn’t get beat by a better team yesterday. We got beat by a better conditioned team. They had their legs, we lost ours. It’s not like we even had a full practice on Friday. They watched film and had a shoot-around and obviously worked on their free throws.

All of our losses in the NCAA’s the past few years we’ve been flat and slow. This has to stop and if JD wants to make a run prepare the players to run a marathon by training to run 2.

Great season however. BE Champs is great for this team and they should hold their heads high.

Spring practice here we come.

Comment by MelbaPlace 03.23.08 @ 3:47 pm

We lost because we do not have a consistent 3 point shooter who can shoot with someone all over him.

Being the BE champs is nice but a deeper run into the tourney is something we all want.

Nietzel worked for his shots and he converted with someone in his face, also we had poor shot selection, wait until next year…..

Hell I went to the game, talk about a rocky mountain let down….

Comment by Ralph 03.23.08 @ 5:14 pm

A day later and a few things stand out:

1. Thank you Keith and Ronnie for believing in PITT…great careers, thank You!

2. Michigan State put a lot of people on the floor and they hit the boards hard. They wore us down, plus the altitude (and playing only 7 bodies) all add up to a team that played hard, but just ran out of gas. The shots that continually hit the front of the iron are usually (not always) indicative of not getting the jump in the legs. Regardless, they never quit.

3. We had 4 assists, not a hallmark of a passing team. Too often, we had little motion in the offensive flow…again, that might be just due to tired legs.

4.I do look forward to next year for the men, and wish the women all the best the rest of the way.

5. It was a good year, filled with great highs, and tough lows (the injuries and last night’s loss)….but in the end, these are our Panthers, and I love them!

6. Again, thank you Ronnie and Keith..and best wishes in whatever you do in life…you are always PITT Panthers!

Hail to PITT!
-al-

Comment by Oregon_Panther 03.23.08 @ 5:29 pm

Tough to be too hard on Ramon. He was playing with two injured shoulders all year. Gutsy player who evolved into our defensive stopper. I’m not sure he was cut out for that role, but he gave it everything he had and that’s all you can ask.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.23.08 @ 6:03 pm

DaveD – I agree about Izzo collapsing the defense. Also, in the 1st half they fouled us and we got points, and in the second half with their collapse they weren’t allowing the dribble penetrations.

A zone defense would not have worked for us- Neitzel would have shot all over it, and we would have been outrebounded worse. I was thinking the switching defense we ran against Vaughn in the BE tourney, but that may not have worked with Neitzel zipping in and out. I think we just played the best D we could and weren’t tall enough to rebound and not big/deep enough to box them out.

Great run though, team. Thanks!

Comment by Kevin 03.23.08 @ 7:35 pm

Everybody has to cut out all the crap about tired legs and conditioning…….thats total BS.

These kids grow up playing multiple games a day in AAU. The fact is, demanding practices should always be tougher physically than games. Games are the fun part where the exhausting practices pay off.

These tournament games are 40 mins of ball broken up by about 25 interruptions for TV timeouts, coaches timeouts and halftime. Unless you’re playing a team like Tennessee, it’s hard to break a sweat during one of these half-court games.

Comment by scottie columbo 03.23.08 @ 9:38 pm

The recruiting link I promised previously did not seem to go through – It lists the top 50 in the Philly area and south jersey with a few considering pitt and Nasir Robinson #5 (he’s committed to Pitt).

link to philly.com

Comment by Dishman 03.23.08 @ 10:19 pm

DaveD – Regarding your comment about playing a different defense, like Kevin said, a zone never would have worked because Neitzel would have been raining threes all day. But I think Jamie could have switched up who was guarding him throughout the game. Ramon is definitely not quick enough to be guarding him the entire time. Gil Brown is 10 times more athletic than Ramon and with his length, he could have disrupted a lot more of his shots.

For everyone who thinks that being tired had something to do with it, were they tired every other game where they couldn’t hit any of there threes? I doubt it. I just think we don’t have good enough shooters to be consistent game in and game out when it comes to knocking down shots. I could be wrong, but it seemed like most of our losses came when we couldn’t hit our shots.

Going 18-19 from the line doesn’t seem like they were too tired either. And it’s extremely difficult to hit your fouls when you’re tired.

Comment by jtads14 03.24.08 @ 12:59 am

DaveD is right, Kevin explains why. They started laughing after we missed all but 2 three pointers in the first half. They packed it in down low, dared us to shoot wide open shots, made sure to stay several steps away so as to not get driven on, and let us hoist up unguarded jumpshots all night. Until you start making some, they’re not changing their D. 4 men in the lane, 1 on Fields, they just sit there and rebound all our bricks. You can’t drive, you can’t have interior passing, nothing. Congest the lane. And its hard to outrebound a team when you miss 15 threes, and they miss 4. Do the math on how many we got outrebounded by.

Im not sure what all this talk about “big men” and crap is. They had 4 guys in the lane bothering Blairs shots – thats why he was missing “layups.” The problem is the lack of making a single jumpshot the entire night.

I think our two biggest problems next year are A) a repeat of this performance cause we have no shooting guard as far as i can tell, and B) no depth after our front line. Who here wants to see a McGhee, Wannamaker, some freshman, and a JC transfer as your bench?

We better pray our starting 5 are ready to play 40 minutes a piece. They will be as good as any other starting 5 in the nation, but after that…ugh.

I’m just pissed off we went out this way. Why couldn’t we just get beat by a memphis or a UCLA? I sure as hell wasn’t pissed off like this last year. This game was just disgusting. Miss 800 open shots…awful…we beat ourselves to death.

Comment by Stuart 03.24.08 @ 7:09 am

I rewatched the final 9.30 of pain. Pretty much, without exception, they would just foul us as soon as we started driving, and make us earn it from the line. We had 4 WIDE OPEN looks from 3 (Young, Ramon, Ramon, Brown), all missed, and 2 of them led to fast breaks the other way because the shot was so poor (and an and-1). They had ONE open shot, a three for neitzel, and he drained it. He also drained a 3 with Ramons hand in his face, and a deep 2, off balance falling sideways with Benjis hand in his face.

They packed in the lane, fouled us if we drove, and let us shoot wide open jumpers (except fields). We just sucked ass.

Maybe we should have switched Fields to the 2 and had Ramon run the point…he’s the backup PG anyways, and was worthless at shooting…other than that, i have no idea how to deal with what we saw. You just don’t get better looks than we got all night. You just don’t…

Comment by Stuart 03.24.08 @ 7:40 am

people, these are young student athletes…they played with heart and effort….they did a great job…it is easy to be a critic, we lost to a team that had a good game…MSU played well, did what they had to do……and i agree with the one poster, the breaks, tv timeouts give a team plenty of rest. Also they did play others on neitzel on defense, including brown, watch the tape.

Comment by DRGAGS 03.24.08 @ 10:31 am

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