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.