March 26, 2009

Survive and Advance

Filed under: Basketball,NCAA Tourney — Chas @ 9:36 pm

Talk about rewriting a legacy in half-a-minute.

As great as Levance Fields has been for Pitt, the senior was hardly anything special for 39 minutes. He had 9 points, 6 assists and 3 turnovers. He probably should have had more turnovers. He shot 3-9 at that point. Only 2-5 on free throws. He just had not come up with much in the most important game of his career. It looked like he would go down small and his team would join yet another Pitt squad that couldn’t break that barrier of winning a third game in the NCAA Tournament.

Then. Then. Then it all changed. Drilling a 3 with under a minute. Deep. Hand in the face. A “NO.NONONONONONONO! YES!!!!!” moment. After that coming up with a steal when Blair poked it lose and racing like he never raced before to the other end with a lay-in. Wow.

Nothing about this game was pretty. I do not understand what is wrong with Pitt in the first half. Whether it is playing too tentative because they don’t know how the game will be officiated. Whether it is overconfidence. Whether it is tightness. Obviously, Coach Dixon has been reaching them at halftime.

Still, it was ugly. Credit also has to go to Xavier for playing that hard and tough against Pitt. They also do well in this type of game and clearly it was their game as well.

Ultimately Pitt did enough. Pitt was tough enough. Physically and mentally. Never gave up. Never stopped.

Now this Pitt team gets to keep playing.

Halla. Freakin. Luya.

Thank you, Levance.

Comment by Carmen 03.26.09 @ 9:44 pm

i love these guys. what a special, tough, once-in-a-lifetime team. i’m exhausted.

i wonder how much it negatively affected pitt to play the early game in a half-empty, sleepy arena. they’re used to packed big east gyms with tons of energy, and tonight they had to pay in front of late-arriving, neutral fans. that won’t be the case saturday, of course. but today, and against etsu . . . i mean, it is the tourney and all, but still, the energy and the environment is nothing like playing a typical big big east game. perhaps that explains a little of their lethargic start.

Comment by Jb 03.26.09 @ 9:50 pm

thank you vance
thank you sam
thank you dujuan
and thank you chas!!!!
i cant wait til saturday……

Comment by schoey 03.26.09 @ 9:55 pm

This is hands down my fav Pitt team and hands down the worst officiating crew I’ve witnessed! Go Pitt!!!!

Comment by MoE 03.26.09 @ 9:58 pm

you seroiusly can complain about the refs after that game? wow….

Comment by Jamie H 03.26.09 @ 10:06 pm

the refs were fine…they let the kids play, which is more than we can say about a bunch of the big east crews….they made a bad call on the shotclock violation, but that was bang bang…all in all, they let us play, which usually works in our favor….

Comment by schoey 03.26.09 @ 10:10 pm

I going to mention smeone nobody else will … Tyrell Biggs. Note that he sat the last 16 minutes in the 1st half with 2 early fouls. I would have to assume that his defense and blocking out had a positive impact in the 2nd half. Also, Dixon, despite his big flub, really played good defense. Lastly, Gilbert was pretty steady.

Nontheless, sadly it was another dreadful Sweet 16 shooting fiasco for us.

Comment by w bill 03.26.09 @ 10:14 pm

the defense played in the first 6 minutes of the second half was the best ive seen all season…its almsot like dixon tells them to be careful in the first half, and then go all out crazy in the 2nd….

we all loved brandon knight and krauser, but levance fields makes more big shots then any player we’ve ever had at this school….let sam take the shots the first 35 minutes, but i want vance shooting the ball in the last 2-3 of the game….

Comment by schoey 03.26.09 @ 10:18 pm

pitt’s best 5 is fields, dixon, brown, young and blair. dixon, please keep this rotation.

Comment by scott 03.26.09 @ 10:24 pm

The best part of this game — sans the win, was the d bag at the bar rooting for Xavier with two front teeth missing. After several drinks and the game in hand, I questioned his loyalty…and turns out the little bitch was a WVU fan. I knew it!!! My response to him was; simply, 13-9….he quivered like a little bitch!!! Hail to Pitt! Finally! 3 down, 3 to go!

Comment by Pauly P 03.26.09 @ 10:25 pm

hey check out my photoshop of levance fields. i used kanye wests 808’s & heartbreaks album cover for it and made it fadaways and heartbreak lol [IMG][/IMG]

Comment by pitpanther01 03.26.09 @ 10:45 pm

link to

WOO HOO!! Go Pitt!

Comment by ricks1683 03.26.09 @ 10:57 pm

I think the first half performance reflects tightness…But, having advanced past the sweet 16 I look for the tightness to be gone. I think this team felt pressure to advance to the elite 8 since the beginning of the tourney because it has been the big question everyone has asked them. Day in day out they dealt with the pressure of making it past the sweet 16. Thats done now. It’s over. I look for this team to start playing relaxed like the Pitt of the regular season. No pressure now, they did what everyone had been bugging them with. Something no Pitt has done before. Now, its time to write their own legacy.

Comment by Ontario Lett's Go Pitt 03.26.09 @ 11:21 pm

Villanova looked very impressive blowing out Duke and UCLA. Playing at the top of their game. We’ll need to step it up against their pressure. Need to stop their penetration, stay in their face on the perimeter, hope they shoot poorly from three and rebound like nobody’s business. Otherwise, it could be a long night.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.26.09 @ 11:23 pm

Just a great game to watch…nerve-wracking, again…but plenty of excitement for the Portland PITT fans (yes a few of us gathered together in the afternoon)…had to watch the first half online and the second was on CBS.

Fields, Blair, and Young all had key moments…great aggressive second half…Blair came out pumping in the second half….and the PITT played like they wanted to Win!

Hail to PITT!

Comment by Oregon_Panther 03.26.09 @ 11:43 pm

Ontario, how did you feel about Sam Young’s body language and facial expressions? Who do you think ti most positively or negatively effected in tonight’s game?

Comment by j-mailes ghost 03.27.09 @ 5:51 am

Ontario, how did you feel about Sam Young’s body language and facial expressions? Who do you think ti most positively or negatively effected in tonight’s game?

Let’s go Pitt!!

Comment by j-mailes ghost 03.27.09 @ 5:51 am

Does Levance Fields have testicular fortutide or what?

Comment by Sam 03.27.09 @ 5:52 am

I thought Field’s 3 three was going off the front of the rim… He’s got some onions!!!

Comment by Pittastic 03.27.09 @ 6:20 am

Shout out to Gilbert Brown. He snared some big rebounds for us and even though his shooting numbers were great he did hit some big shots and the fact that Xavier had to respect his drives created some opportunities for his teammates. Very solid game. Wanamaker also had a decent game (he rebounded well and had a nice layup), though not as good as Brown. Without our bench Fields doesn’t have the opportunity to show his “ONIONS”.

Comment by Chris 03.27.09 @ 6:36 am

haha j-mailes ghost…I hope Sam keeps doing what he is doing. I did rip him after the first round game and it was well deserved. If you don’t think so go back and watch the game and several of the games this year when he looked un=interested. Maybe it was pressure, maybe it was the inferior opponent. Whatever it is, Young is playing like he wants a final 4 this team and is ready to carry them on his back. I hope he keeps proving my assessment of him after the first game wrong.

Comment by Ontario Lett's Go Pitt 03.27.09 @ 6:57 am

we could use J-mailes ghost vs. Nova if J-maile is a reference to Jason Maile. I remember Maile’s performance in 97 when he poured 40 on Nova at the Field House in a win. He hit 8 threes that game, I believe 6 in the second half. One of the great shooting performances in Pitt history, hopefully someone can replicate tomorrow.

Comment by Ontario Lett's Go Pitt 03.27.09 @ 7:59 am

LEVANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a shot! I love that kid.

Comment by omar 03.27.09 @ 8:49 am

Survive and Levance!

Comment by ej 03.27.09 @ 9:06 am

I was at that J-Maile 40 point game. I remember thinking that beating a top 25 ranked Villanova team was the greatest thing to happen to Pitt basketball in ten years. That’s my favorite part of that memory, how irrelevant a win over a team ranked 22 has become. (Note: I don’t recall exactly what they were ranked, but it was between 15 and 25.) I think we beat them the next year too, when Tim Thomas was on campus for them.

Comment by maz. 03.27.09 @ 10:00 am

Pitt wins if it can do three things. Really, only one, but I’ll cover all the bases.

First, Pitt needs to take care of the ball. At times the team can’t even make an in-bound pass.

Second, Pitt needs to get the rebounds. Tip it, swipe it, swat it — whatever — except have the ball hit you when your standing off the court.

Third, Pitt needs to score more points. I’ll take #3 any time over 1 & 2. As long as Pitt scores more points, any way, any how, — I’ll be happy. Older of course, but happy and grey.

Comment by Mark Rauterkus 03.27.09 @ 1:09 pm

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