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January 5, 2009

This Means Something

Filed under: Basketball,History,Polls — Chas @ 1:10 pm

I suppose to programs that have done it multiple times and have National Championships, this might seem like a nice but relatively minor event. Arguably getting to number 1, even in early-January is as much about about being high enough in preseason rankings and attrition of those teams ahead.

The time that truly matters is at the end of the year.

That may be true. It does, however, matter right now. This is a big deal for Pitt. In the 101 years that Pitt has played basketball, and however many years that there have been polls Pitt has never been ranked #1. Not in NCAA Tournament seedings. Not in the polls.

Even in this period where Pitt has set itself as one of the top-25 teams of this decade, they have never reached higher than #2 for only brief periods.

The polls come out later, but teams ranked 1, 2 and 4 all lost (here’s a couple AP voters showing their ballots).

Just an ridiuclously awesome thing to enjoy the reflected glory of what the team has done. I mean, I know it’s silly, but I’ve had a big goofy grin on my face most of the day just thinking about seeing Pitt in the #1 spot.

The players know to say the right thing.

“We’re excited,” sophomore center DeJuan Blair said. “It means a whole lot for us. But we need to stay focused and keep our heads in it, stay humble.”

The first Pitt basketball team to ever accomplish it. At least one goal achieved.

UPDATE (1:33): Here’s the Coach’s Poll (ESPN/USA Today) story, Pitt got 30 of 31 votes — one coach kept UNC at #1.

Coaches Poll is out…we’re tops in the land.

Comment by merlin 01.05.09 @ 1:17 pm

We just need to improve week to week. Fields is rounding into shape, Wannamaker is coming along, and I like how Brown and Biggs are playing.

Comment by Pitttastic 01.05.09 @ 1:22 pm

We also, at the moment, have the #1 RPI, the #3 SOS, and #4 of the Pomeroy ratings.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.05.09 @ 1:26 pm

This is a great feeling. I can’t wait to see it in print tomorrow. As my cooworkers from Duquesne have pointed out it means nothing. But as alumni, it’s the best nothing ever.

I had to wear my Pitt sweater vest today.

As you can tell, I’ve decided to enjoy it.

Comment by Freebird 01.05.09 @ 1:35 pm

we’re not going to go unscathed in the Beast..but it will be good to see how the team plays against a couple of unranked teams at home with the target on their backs, before 5 in a row against tough conference foes (@lvl, cuse, @wvu, @nova, nd)………

gotta love being #1 though!!! even if only for a few weeks….it sure feels good…..

Comment by schoey 01.05.09 @ 1:51 pm

Woo hoo!

BUT, 9 of the top 25 are Big East teams. January and February are going to rip the heck out of teams with no bench strength. Fortunately, that’s not us.


Comment by Bobby 01.05.09 @ 1:56 pm

*cough* Roy Williams is a homer *cough*

Comment by Maile Man 01.05.09 @ 2:51 pm

70 of 72 first place votes in the AP poll. Pitt is still a mile ahead of Duke and UNC, which kept 2 votes.

Comment by matt 01.05.09 @ 2:54 pm

Dear Doug Gottlieb,

Bite me – if only for this one week.

Still: bite me, Doug.

Comment by Shawn 01.05.09 @ 3:17 pm

I don’t think we will go undefeated in the Big East, with the likes of UConn, Louisville, Nova, Marquette, WVU…need I go on? But it is still awesome to be #1. Carolina is a very good team, but after a home loss to lowly BC, they really shouldn’t be getting any first place votes this week. I can’t wait until we hear the announcer at the Pete say, “Introducing your number 1 ranked…PITTSBURGH PANTHERS!” Take that Gottlieb, you and your $900 of stolen credit card debt.

Comment by hail2pitt 01.05.09 @ 3:59 pm

Can we confirm that Roy Williams is the one voter in the coaches poll not to vote us #1?

Comment by maz. 01.05.09 @ 7:06 pm

Actually, I just saw on a list of all the coaches that have a vote in the coach’s poll, and was surprised to find out that Roy Williams does not have one. Go figure. At least we know who one of the AP writers who voted UNC #1 was. Three guesses (cough, Doug Gottlieb, cough).

Comment by hail2pitt 01.05.09 @ 9:32 pm

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