March 7, 2013

Bye or Double-Bye

Filed under: Basketball,Big East,Conference — Chas @ 8:00 am

The Big East Tournament is next week. For the last time.

Don’t care who has the name. Don’t care if it’s still at MSG. It won’t be the Big East Tournament any longer.

Pitt was picked for 6th in the Big East while Syracuse and ND were picked for 2d and 3d respectively.

Pitt is sitting in a 3-way tie for 4th in the Big East with Notre Dame and Syracuse.

All three teams play on Saturday on the road — and very conveniently arranged for viewing pleasure.

Syracuse at Georgetown at Noon (ESPN)

Pitt at DePaul at 2pm (ESPN Regional/Big East syndication)

Notre Dame at Louisville (CBS)

Slight discrepancy in the foes ND and Cuse face compared to Pitt’s opponent. It is always possible DePaul pulls the upset. And there’s always a bit of concern for Pitt when they get a full week off. Still, I’m going to assume a Pitt win on Saturday to shorten and simplify scenarios.

If Pitt wins and the other two lose, Pitt finishes 4th without any tie-breakers. They would be the #4 seed in the BET.

If Pitt wins, Syracuse wins and ND loses, Pitt ties with Cuse for 4th, but is the #4 seed in the BET. Pitt beat Syracuse head-to-head.

If Pitt wins, Syracuse loses and ND wins, Pitt ties with ND for 4th, but falls to the #5 seed in the BET. ND beat Pitt head-to-head.

If all three win (or lose), Pitt will be seeded 4th in the BET because of that Georgetown win. The tie-breaker formula involves how the tied teams did against the highest finisher. ND lost to Georgetown. Syracuse, at best, is 1-1. Pitt with a 1-0 record gets it over the Orange.

Now the other question that gets asked is: Does Pitt want the double-bye?

Since 2009, the Big East has awarded the top four teams in the league standings a free pass to the quarterfinal round of the tournament while the rest of the teams begin play Tuesday and Wednesday. Pitt has earned the double bye three times and lost its first game on all three occasions.

The Panthers are not alone. In 16 games, teams with the double bye are 9-7.

Obviously Pitt has skewed the numbers. Flip them to wins and the double-bye debate in the BET would be a dismissed.

It really seems that there is no avoiding the dobule-bye. I have a hard time seeing Louisville losing this one at home. Not on their senior day.

The question should be: How does Pitt get itself ready for a double-bye?

Not quite the case, if Pitt, Cuse, and ND all win then Marquette would probably win the BE, and Pitt would fall to the #6 seed due to our 0-2 record against them.

Comment by Twink 03.07.13 @ 8:38 am

Never been a fan of the double bye. More like a double edged sword. You want to finish in the top 4 but in such a balanced league, those top 4 teams likely have to play a tough team in their FIRST game, and probably have little better than a 50/50 shot at winning that game. I don’t understand why with 15 teams (and previously 16) they can’t set up a bracket where the first place team only has a BYE, then 2-15, 3-14, 4-13, etc. play. Not that it matters anymore after next week…

Comment by Iron Duke 03.07.13 @ 8:43 am

Last night Sam Young led the ex Panthers NBA’ers with 3pts. Blair had 0 and Gray dnp, coaches decision.

Comment by alcofan 03.07.13 @ 8:48 am

This is anyone’s tourney.
Villiemanillienova looked good last night.
Hell, USF is a team I would not want to play again.
Marquette looks good, U of L and No Dames square off for a big game.
Nationally, IU lost at home by 9 to OSU. Miami got beat by an average team, St. Louis lost to X, Oklahoma State loses….
There isn’t a team I see in either the BE or nationally that is a front runner.
In the BE, I really like Marquette. They win and rarely, if ever, lose because they play poorly.
So seeding in the NCAA is not really relevant, but matchups sure as hell are.
The pollsters have their minds made up…Lunardi too. IU loses at home to a good, but not great OSU team and he keeps them a 1 seed!! With an outright big ten title on the line…losing down the final 4 minutes!! Duke loses to UVA and stays top 5!
Pitt will be a 6 or 5 seed and nothing will change that…even if we win the BE tourney.
I want to see intense play with a sense of purpose and determination.
if I get that, then I will be happy and Pitt will go further.
No one can mail them in from here and that includes DePaul.

Comment by sfpitt 03.07.13 @ 8:52 am

It was crazy that nova won by just 10 last night. Georgetown was 4-8 from the charity stripe while nova was 30-42. I had to read it twice. Nova got 42 free attempts at points and still only won by 10. I thought the refs were biased in the Pitt/nova game but that is pretty crazy.

Comment by Pendlum 03.07.13 @ 8:57 am

@pendulum – I couldn’t believe those numbers either. I guess ESPN/Big East really want Nova in the dance.

I am ambivalent about the double bye. On the one hand, it would be a nice reward for a great comeback from last season. On the other hand, it never helps us.

FWIW, Jerry Palm at has Pitt as a 5 seed in the West (LA) bracket playing in Kansas City against the winner of LaSalle/Kentucky for the right to play the winner of KState/Stephen F. Austin. Top 4 in the bracket are Gonzaga, New Mexico, Arizona (hi Sean) and KState.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.07.13 @ 9:19 am

Didn’t see the Nova game… however… those numbers speak volumes about how boring that game must have been… I wonder how much time, total, was spent at the charity stripe last night.

Comment by Benzene 03.07.13 @ 9:28 am

I’ll check back on this subject come Sunday morning. I bet things will be much clearer by then.

Comment by Dr. Tom 03.07.13 @ 9:30 am

Double-bye doesn’t have any inherent bonus other than perhaps some rest. It doesn’t allow for more preparation/game-planning than the team you’ll have to play since you’ll only know how that is the day before you play them (you’re not gonna game prep for 4 possible teams four or five days in advance).

I think when Pitt’s had the double bye, Dixon just practiced his team to be prepared for the tournament run.

Ran into a buzz saw with UConn two yrs ago (and we were were over-rated at that point). The ND and WVU losses were hard to explain, but still. Who cares,

I dont know any pitt fans who are concerned with the BE Tourny at this point. Its all about the NCAA run. right?

Comment by PantherP 03.07.13 @ 9:33 am

I don’t care what seed we get in either tournament.If we show up and play to our potential we can beat anyone,but unfortunately I still think it is possible to lose to DePaul on Saturday.The point here it isn’t who or where we play that matters,it is which Pitt team shows up to play.I am hopeing for the team that surpasses expectations this year.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.07.13 @ 9:41 am

I missed the Georgetown game. Everyone is roaring about the one Gtown player. How and who shut him down when Pitt played them.

Comment by pittisit 03.07.13 @ 9:41 am

Getting the double bye is a good thing. One win and you in the semifinal. Now, when get a double bye you ARE going to facing a better team than DePaul in your first game. You may be playing someone like Villanova or Notre Dame. But, If you are going to advance in the Tounament championship you will have to eventually face them anyway. You will be better rested………..but you still have come to play.

Comment by Justinian 03.07.13 @ 9:48 am

Moving on to the NCAA tourney, does anyone have a preference of the region in which Pitt will play? Obviously, playing in the East or even Midwest makes the early rounds more attractive for traveling Pitt fans–what if we got a higher seed, but had to play out west? Which region benefits our team best?

Comment by Lou 03.07.13 @ 10:00 am

I hate the double bye. Also, I want to win the Big East tournament. The last one ever. Not worried about whether it wears us out for the Big Dance.

The more Pitt Ball I see the happier I am. One and done does us no good for the NCAA’s. The most important thing will be the match up in the second NCAA game provided we get there and we should. No preparation or rest will help us. You can’t prepare until you know who you are playing. Sure you risk injury but that can happen in practice, as we recently learned. This is when the 10 guys can help the most.

To me cutting down the nets at Madison Square Garden is bigger than a sweet sixteen, besides it’s not an either or.

Comment by gc 03.07.13 @ 10:06 am

Just win and don’t worry about it. Focus on what you can control, which is your own team.

Hope this last year in the BE is a good tourney experience as an ACC launchpad. Hope Jamie can relax and convey that attitude to the guys. Play hard, have fun. I’ve loved Pitt’s success over the past decade+, but I’m tired of the consistent March disappointments.

Comment by BATR 03.07.13 @ 10:12 am

BPI – 10
KenPom – 7

If those ratings are correct, this team should do some damage in the BET and the NCAAs.

I am thrilled (but not surprised) with the turnaround from last year. I think this team can accomplish whatever they set their mind to however and wherever they are seeded.


Comment by Pitt Dad 03.07.13 @ 10:24 am

I would love for this Pitt team to win the BE Tourney because I seems just a shade more likely than making a run in the NCAAs. Lets put it this way, I’d rather win the BE and not make the Sweet 16 than NOT win the BE and not make the Sweet Sixteen…

Comment by Iron Duke 03.07.13 @ 10:27 am

*IT* seems…

Comment by Iron Duke 03.07.13 @ 10:44 am

I haven’t seen anything that indicates this team is likely to win the Big East or make the Sweet 16 however I think they are capable of either or both.As bizarre a season as this year has been I actually think it is possible for Pitt to make a deep run in the NCAA.I don’t think there is any team Pitt couldn’t beat on a good day.I don’t think this team will embarass us by doing something stupid either.Most likely quarter finals of the Big East and 1 win in the NCAA’s.Anything beyond that is a plus,less than that a failure.I sure would love to be pleasantly surprised for a change.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.07.13 @ 11:13 am

Honestly, I really hope that this team somehow avoids the 4/5 line. Looks like the consensus in bracket projections is that if Pitt is on the 4/5 line, they will get shipped to a very rough pod (i.e. across Arizona in Salt Lake, across Kansas State in Austin). Whereas the 3/6 pairings are much more desirable (playing across from Florida in Dayton, or landing in Auburn Hills).

I always have faith, but playing a 12 seed and Arizona in Salt Lake City, and then, if we get past that, hitting #1 Gonzaga in Los Angeles doesn’t sound like very much fun for anyone.

Comment by Aaron 03.07.13 @ 11:27 am

Aaron, I think Pitt matches up well against Arizona or Gonzaga but Florida would be a tall task.History says we will get hosed by the bracket makers,so I expect the worst.I would like to see Pitt draw an ACC or Big 10 match in the 2nd round assuming we get there.I don’t think anybody will be too anxious to play us no matter what the seed.We have some real potential with nothing to lose which is a great scenario for a change.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.07.13 @ 11:44 am

To add to Pitt Dad’s list – Sagarin has us at #10

link to

Comment by KeyboardKev 03.07.13 @ 11:51 am

Strange events occur when Notre Dame is a playing.

Must be the Leprechaun. haha

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 11:55 am

Mixed feeling about the Double Bye. Since we’ve had our worst BigEast Tourney results (since pre-2001) while getting the infamous Double Bye (DB).

Sure it’s nice to play one less game, but hey we’ve all been squaking all year, how deep this team is. We don’t have 3-4 players that normally play 35-39 minutes per game. Saw the Syracuse/Depaul box from last nite, they won handedly, however they had 4 players that had to play over 34 minutes each to do it.

So if we have this deep bench the extra game shouldn’t mean a thing, right.

Since we’re 0-3 with the DB, it might be better we get the #5 seed. Better to knock off a team BEFORE they get 2 wins under their belt, get on a roll and start believing they can win the whole thing. (see Uconn with Kemba)

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 12:07 pm

On another note, I watched the Villanova win over Georgetown last night and Nova looked pretty good.
I think after the way they lost to Pitt at the Pete, they were playing with a sence of urgency. Eventhough,Georgetown may drop a touch, it should help Pitt’s RPI since they have two wins over Nova.

Comment by Justinian 03.07.13 @ 12:10 pm

Kenpom ….hasn’t had us outside his Top 10 since Conf. play began. Might have even been in it, since the Michigan game, can’t remember.

I don’t subscribe, so I don’t know his matrix, if someone does, please explain.

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 12:11 pm

double bye hasn’t done us much good in the past. The flip to that — lower expectations for teams that don’t have it. Part of BET success seems like dumb luck of getting good matchups. If we play Gtown, Syracuse, UConn, Cinci or Nova I like our chances, but much less so against Notre Dame, Marquette or even Providence. Still on the fence about L’ville but I think we can beat them. Just not feeling it for SoFla, DePaul, Seton Hall, Temple or Rutgers to be on the table in R3 but who knows?

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 03.07.13 @ 12:21 pm

lol Temple definitely won’t be in R3, guaranteed.

Speaking of the poor Owls, they finally get their wish to play BigEast basketball next year,
but near everyone has left the party by then.

They can’t catch a break !

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 12:34 pm

30 of 42 from the line, haha

and G-Town was only 4 of 8

Do they expect to be taken seriously. What a farce.

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 12:39 pm

And we thought Villimanilli got all the calls against us. Oy Vey !

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 12:40 pm

The bummer is that the final year of the BE tournament happens in a year when the conference is so down.

I used to go to MSG every year in order to see great players and games. Not even the final year of the tourney can get me up there this year to watch the likes of Porter, Cadougan, Gardner, Carter-Williams, Triche, Cooley, Smith and Siva…….most of which won’t be cashing an NBA check.

Had G-town gotten a #1 seed, they would have been the worst #1 in the modern history of March Madness.

I mean, what happened to the days of Mourning, Kittles, El-Amin, Gordon, McNamara, Knight, Anthony,Butler etc., etc. ?? Where is the quality?

Comment by hugh green 03.07.13 @ 12:49 pm

ACC is down too, as is College basketball in general.

ACC only has two ranked teams, Duke & Miami.

And Miami is fading a little down the stretch here, losing last nite at home to middling Georgia Tech. And have lost 3 of their last 4 games including another middling team, Wake Forest.

You might see a couple mid-majors make it to the Final Four this year. Those teams have more senior laden players which is mostly why Miami is having such a good year. They have 22 & 23 year olds playing against Duke & UNC’s 18 & 19 yr olds.

The one & done rule needs to be ended. And it’s not doing the NBA anygood as well. Since those players really aren’t prepared to play in the NBA right away. So the one & done is diminishing both college and pro basketball, END IT !

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 1:04 pm

With 2 more teams ahead of us losing last nite, those being #16 St. Louis to unranked XAvier and #13 Okie State to unranked Iowa State, we can move up some more in the Top 20.

And I’m quite certain they’ll be more Top 20 carnage over the weekend, as there has been every weekend since January.

But we have to win on Saturday at 2pm.

And your right about very few marquee players hugh green. The best guard in the BigEast plays on Providence of all teams. (Brice Cotton) As he is the ONLY PLAYER in the BigEAst averaging …


And it’s exactly at 20 ppg.

That’s incredible, one player in the whole conference of what 18-20 teams, averaging 20.

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 1:39 pm

while we seem to concede that we will not have any problem with DePaul on Saturday especially due to how easy the the 1st game was, we may be wise to take the game seriously especially due to how easy the the 1st game was.

Our team is just like every other team this year in that we can look very, very good on certain days, but on other days … not so much. Conversely, DePaul has actually played very well against some very good opponents this year.

Comment by wbb 03.07.13 @ 1:40 pm

well, apparently while Herr Karl Hess tried to preserve Nova’s NCAA bid against us, the refs last night made sure of it last night (I’m sure under BE mandate)

Comment by wbb 03.07.13 @ 1:44 pm

You do have to wonder how one team (GTown) had 3 players foul out while the other (Nova) didn’t have anyone with more than 3 PF. GTown’s bench had almost as many fouls (8) as Nova’s starters (9). It does make you wonder.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.07.13 @ 1:52 pm

Emel,When you say the ACC is down I understand your position off of recent decline in Miami’s play but think the overall sugestion doesn’t hold water.Duke is a different team since the return to health of their star and all of a sudden the Tarheels appear to have grown up.I think The damn Dookies are the team to beat in this years NCAA’s and won’t be surprised if NC makes the sweet 16.NC State has fallen off but they were supposed to be the cream of the conference.Miami has looked awesome earlier this year and some of the middle teams like GT,MD, and Virginia have had their moments as well.I am starting to think the Big 10 might be softer than most anticipated and I can’t see a Gonzaga making it to a final 4.I think we might see some 4 through 7 seeds in the final 4 this year. I am surprised at how poorly Indiana and MU have done recently.Syracuse looks beatable and so does the Ville.Georgetown is not an unbeastable entity and Marquette wins but almost always struggles.The PAC 12 is very suspect and Kansas looks like they can be had as well.I haven’t ever seen a year without any real impressive teams which leads me back to the damn dookies.Florida loks real good most of the time but something is still missing for them too.Seems to me that it is the perfect time for a team like Pitt to catch fire.We can beat any of these teams when we are right.Are we due to get lucky for a change?

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.07.13 @ 1:55 pm

wbb, Are you implying malice or conspiracy involving a Big East official? How could you suggest such a thing, when the ref in question could possibly have impaired vision or simply be incompetent.

Comment by Justinian 03.07.13 @ 2:02 pm

We can’t just show up and beat DePaul.They are a better team than they showed at the Pete earlier and they gave ND real good games twice.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.07.13 @ 2:16 pm

The Catholic 7 steal “Big East” nameplate:

link to

The leftovers? Howsabout the Pan American Conference? Move over PAC 10.

Comment by steve1 03.07.13 @ 2:38 pm

Spirit, I’m with you, this could be a big trap game for the Panthers. They have to do more than just show up. They have to be ready to play and grind it out if necessary.

About the bye, Pitt has to play whoever they’re matched up against. It doesn’t really matter if it’s after a single bye or a double bye. If they don’t come to play or they don’t play well, they’ll lose. After all, this is the Big East Tournament and it’s not for the faint of heart.

Comment by Justinian 03.07.13 @ 2:41 pm


Yes I also posted that ALL of college basketball is DOWN imo. Written at length that there are NO great teams.

But the ACC is certainly down, it has been for several seasons, as I live in the heart of ACC country and even their diehards down here admit to it. The conference as a whole hasn’t had more than 2-3 teams ranked in the Top 25 all year.
That would be considered down. Don’t ya think ?

Now being down doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a few very good teams, as Duke, Miami certainly are and UNC is a notch below. The others you mentioned, especially NC State have been disappointments.

The ACC will have at most 6 teams in the Big Dance, with only Duke, Miami, UNC & NC State assured of bids.

Currently Virginia has an RPI of #64
Maryland’s is worse at #86.

If the committee uses RPI mostly as a barometer, NEITHER OF THESE teams will get a bid.

So yeah the ACC is down with only 4 bids.

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 2:44 pm

The “America 12 Conference” is the favorite to become the new name of the current Big East Conference’s football schools, league sources told ESPN.

The name has not officially been approved by the league’s presidents. The conference also is considering several other names, sources said.

However, Covington & Burling, the conference’s law firm, purchased and registered the domain name “” on Tuesday.

The Big East’s law firm also registered other variations of America 12 on Tuesday, including,,,, and

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.07.13 @ 2:49 pm

Would that put them before or after America East on’s Standings webpage? My guess is before.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.07.13 @ 2:51 pm

Emel,Down or not I think Duke is the team to beat and the Tar Heels might be peaking at the right time.Ithink both teams will go deep.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.07.13 @ 2:57 pm

Rank Conference Avg. RPI Avg. SOS SOS Rank Teams
1 Mountain West 0.5833 0.5688 2 9
2 Big Ten 0.5827 0.5765 1 12
3 Big East 0.5785 0.5683 3 15
4 Atlantic Coast 0.5664 0.5594 5 12
5 Big 12 0.5618 0.5595 4 10
6 Pacific-12 0.5579 0.5561 6 12
7 Atlantic 10 0.5501 0.5462 7 16
8 Southeastern 0.5457 0.5433 8 14
9 Missouri Valley 0.5357 0.5340 9 10
10 West Coast 0.5281 0.5250 10 9
11 Conference USA 0.5164 0.5126 11 12
12 Horizon League 0.5007 0.4927 13 9
13 Western Athletic 0.4995 0.4949 12 10
14 Metro Atlantic Athletic 0.4935 0.4914 15 10
15 Sun Belt 0.4910 0.4927

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 2:59 pm

Again I’m not talking about 2 teams, I’m talking the conference as a whole.

I expect a team like VCU or St. Louis or New Mexico to make a run this year.

VCU has been there before and have an absolutely devastating press. Reminiscent of G-Town’s press of the mid 80’s.

I like to go out a little on a limb, it’s too easy to pick someone like Duke or UNC.

Come on spirit22 you can do better than that, lol.

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 3:06 pm

Good point EMel — I’m mentally checked out of the BE — just assumed they were among the bottom feeders and I completely overlooked that they haven’t even joined yet :-)

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 03.07.13 @ 3:21 pm

42 to 8 in foul shots. Got to be some kind of record. A 5-1 ratio. Obviously Villanova was getting away with all of their charges. They cost Georgetown a piece of the Championship just to get Nova into the NCAA’s. There ought to be an investigation.

And I don’t even like Georgetown a little bit.

It’s going to be an interesting tourny because other than Gtown and Marquette, all the favorites won’t be back. What will the refs do?

Comment by gc 03.07.13 @ 3:45 pm

@ gc

How would have you liked to have a bet on that game ..taking G-Town either straight up or laying the points. haha

I don’t like G-Town either, don’t know many Pitt ppl who do. But this is blatantly obvious.

Game was at Villimanilli too in the Wells Fargo arena.

Lot of strangeness goes on down the stretch here as teams on the bubble need W’s to get in.

Another one last nite was Iowa State making 26 of 35 FT’s in a much needed win over a ranked team, Okie State (#13). As having an RPI of #51 and only one other win over a ranked team, ISU was clearly on the bubble (prolly still is but this win helped a lot).

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 4:26 pm

MountainWest is laughable over-rated. As is Gonzaga.

don’t worry too much about the polls. Its all about match-ups, injuries and how much focus/hunger you play with in the tournaments.

Comment by PantherP 03.07.13 @ 4:26 pm

Speaking of refs, read this:

link to

watch some of the videos too if you can

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.07.13 @ 4:43 pm

Gonzaga may be overrated, weak conference and all, but they are pretty good. Two excellant big guys.

Emel you are right, losing money on that game would have added insult to injury.

Comment by gc 03.07.13 @ 5:00 pm

Agree, EMel, ACC is way down, too, and you’re right, the one-and-done stuff is killing the game.

Sure, it will be fun to see some mid majors make a splash in the tourney, but that doesn’t make up for watching the general quality of play decline every year.

The other huge problem the game is facing is around the offensive style of play. I don’t know whether to blame the AAU coaches, or the school coaches or the attention span of the players, but all anybody runs anymore is the high pick and roll (even sometimes against a zone) or meaningless weave stuff. Nobody has the patience to run a motion offense and look for cutters or folks rubbing off screens. There’s way, way too much dribbling, very little passing in and out of the post and far too many plays where things break down and a shot gets hoisted up to beat the shot clock. It’s a mess.

Comment by hugh green 03.07.13 @ 5:36 pm

Emel..why would you want one-and-done to end? Pitt never gets these kinds of players…and going into the ACC it would benefit Pitt if this rule stays in place.

Comment by Jackagain 03.07.13 @ 6:05 pm

Must be me, last time I went to BE Tourney was 1993. The all tourney team was:
Adrian Autry, Syracuse
David Cain, St. John’s
Terry Dehere, Seton Hall
Arturas Karnishovas, Seton Hall
Lawrence Moten, Syracuse
Dickey Simpkins, Providence
Jerry Walker, Seton Hall

Hardly an NBA all star team and probably a pick ’em against this year’s all tourney team.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 03.07.13 @ 6:06 pm

They had to be a weak year for sure Boubacar.

That was right about the time Pitt started declining until 2000 and getting to the BE championship game against BC. And then the big move in 2001. All conf’s have their up & down cycles, whether it’s due to coaching influxes or
sun spots. Who knows. :-)

Comment by EMel 03.07.13 @ 6:16 pm

My favorite Big East 2003.

Dave Gavitt Trophy (Most Outstanding Player): Julius Page, Pittsburgh
All-Tournament Team
Brandin Knight, Pittsburgh
Ben Gordon, Connecticut
Emeka Okafor, Connecticut
Craig Smith, Boston College
Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse

Way better than this year.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 03.07.13 @ 6:20 pm

Emel,I think that the perception that the ACC is weak this year is a mirage and several of the ACC teams will do very well in the NCAA’s.I hate these teams but they are as good as anyone and better than the vast majority.VCU is a very interesting team and they certainly are capable of getting to the sweet 16,but I think the wheels will come off of that train before the Final 4.They won’t benefit from inconsistant officiating and Atlantic 10 crews seem to give them every break.The new faces in the striped shirts aren’t likely to be as kind.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.07.13 @ 6:30 pm

Question for folks on football if that is OK on this thread.

I caught in this article in the Trib. guys talking about the great progress they made with Buddy Morris after the season in prep. for the draft….
Makes me wonder what are we to make of the current strength/conditioning program at Pitt? Were these guys that bad off before going to Morris because of Graham and changes?

Or do we have to be concerned that the Chryst regime does not have a top strength/conditioning program?

here we know of the reputation of Morris,… just makes you wonder.

May also show just how loyal this core group of seniors was to the DW regime (not a bad thing)

link to

Comment by Pittscript 03.07.13 @ 7:26 pm

Good point, Pittscript. From what I hear, Graham’s staff had the kids in top shape.

Comment by steve1 03.07.13 @ 8:05 pm

Watched the entire Nova Georgetown game. Was surprised to learn later that the FT discrepancy was so huge. However, it didn’t appear to me that Nova was getting special treatment by the Refs despite the lopsided FT numbers. I thought they were much more agressive and energized than Georgetown. I can’t recall a single truly bad or totally mistaken foul call on either team. In addition, the numbers got magnified somewhat by the 8-10 FTs Nova got in the last 2 minutes as GT was forced to foul. Sometimes this sort of thing just happens without the refs intentionally favoring one team over the other. I think this may have been one of those times. And, JT-III never complained even once that I saw about the officiating–for whatever that’s worth.

Comment by pitt1972 03.07.13 @ 8:34 pm

we could have our first matchup be against ND..ugh..not a good matchup!!

Comment by Keith 03.07.13 @ 9:59 pm

You do not want to be a 5 seed in the NCAAs because you’ll have to play a decent or good team that had a mediocre season. I wouldn’t want Pitt to play Kentucky in the 2nd rd

Comment by Native Washingtonian 03.07.13 @ 10:22 pm

looks like #19 Oregon is going down tonight.

Comment by Scott 78 03.07.13 @ 10:29 pm

Oregon (19) loses badly on the road to unranked Colorado.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 12:05 am

I would be fine with facing ND,it is about time we confront our demons.If we are to get better we have to make strengths out of our weaknesses and we are a better team than them.There is no reason we can’t beat them as easy as anyone else.In fact I would argue that if we can’t handle the Irish we don’t deserve to advance in NY.So that being said I sure hope we don’t see Marquette again,they have me convinced we can’t beat them.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.08.13 @ 9:20 am

It is a little late in the game to turn weakness into strength. But what you can do is make some small, incremental improvements that make a huge difference. Some small things that would help:

*A little more effort from Patterson and Woodall in their on ball defense.
*A few more touches by the bigs in the post
*A small improvement in free throws
*A couple more dribble drives to get in the lane
*A handful more buckets after beating the press

Those are tweaks that reasonably could be addressed in the next few weeks.

That and a hot shooter!

Comment by boubacar aw 03.08.13 @ 9:48 am

It would be much more fun to beat Notre Dame, Marquette or Louisville. If we are playing well, we can beat anyone, if not, we are going to lose.

It always comes down to clutch shooting and the will to win. A little luck never hurts either.

Comment by gc 03.08.13 @ 10:14 am

Durand Johnson experimenting at shooting guard. Like this move buy Dixon.

Johnson’s shown enough athleticism to think he can handle the switch.

Personally believe he has a huge upside and could impact from the two guard if he’s willing and able to take it to the basket in addition to hitting threes.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.08.13 @ 10:59 am

I would think they would just use Durand Durand as a catch & shoot 2 guard, as he’s not real great with the ball handling at this point.

Think Gibbs as a sophomore…..catch & shoot.

That could be an interesting lineup at times with Woodie at the PG and Durand Durand at the 2, it would certainly put more pressure on the enemy opponent’s defense. DD is also tall enough to shoot over a defense.

Anything to give the opponent another look from Pitt that’s not on tape, is good at this point.

Let’s take care of business and bustup the Blue Demons !!!

Comment by EMel 03.08.13 @ 11:27 am

Post Gazette said Taylor was sick,Adams was still limping and Robinson hurt his thumb.I hope we don’t struggle with Depaul,but I suspect they will give us a game.It is never a given on the road in the Big East and I hope we are ready for a tussle.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.08.13 @ 11:53 am

Latest from Joe Lunardi:

Pitt is a 5 seed in the Indianapolis bracket playing in KC against the winner of Virginia/Tennessee for the right to play the winner of KState/Akron.

Top 4 are Indiana (guess they don’t have to go far from home), Louisville, Miami and KState.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 12:26 pm

Interesting that we’d have to play KState in KC and, if we progress, Indiana in Indianapolis. Nothing is too tough for our guys.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 12:27 pm

@Pitt Dad
It seems IU is immune to its losses having any consequences. Still a 1 seed after losing at home, playing fir 1st big ten outright title in two decades, by 9 to OSU.
They could lose to Michigan this weekend too.
IU will be first 1 to lose. They don’t get to sweet sixteen.

Comment by SFPitt 03.08.13 @ 12:32 pm

It’s official…

link to

7 are leaving, which means hopefully ND will join us in the ACC next year as well

Comment by Benzene 03.08.13 @ 12:59 pm

Agree, IU seems to have been a #1 seed cruise control since the season started.

They’ll lose one and win one in a given week and it hardly budges them down the rankings.

Even worse than Syracuse, losing several several times before they were finally dropped out of the Top 10.

These media people and coaches have their favorites and be damned will anything change their minds (like losing to unranked teams). You see they don’t like looking foolish.

Another example was Miami, they weren’t ranked for months and months, and then they HAD to put them in the Top 20 since they were in 1rst place in the ACC at 8-0 or something. And then they zoomed them up to the Top 5 in like a week. lol
They have 3 of the last 4 games now, with 2 of those to weak teams, we’ll see how far they drop from #6. Probably not far.

Also it will be interesting to see how far Georgetown(currently #5) drops since losing handily to unranked Villimanilli.

We on the other hand seem to be treated far differently by the pollsters (especially USA/ESPN), so we better win against DePaul for I think they’ll have no problem just dropping us right out if we lose.

Comment by EMel 03.08.13 @ 1:05 pm

If Pitt plays ND in the BET, I might just avoid the game completely. It will be much better for my mental health. I have nearly lost it the last 3 or 4 times the team has played ND. I HATE the burn.

What seed Pitt gets is going to be really interesting. RPI is pretty high but other things are pretty low. I could see Pitt being as high as a 3 and as low as a 6. No teams in the NCAA scare me. Pitt could beat anyone in the country this year. It’s not like a UNC of Florida team of a past is out there that is loaded and just dominant.

Also, about strength and conditioning weren’t some people worried about the hire of the strength coach because he was inexperienced?

Comment by Wardapalooza 03.08.13 @ 1:36 pm

I tend to go with CBS Sports and their bracketing since they are televising the tournament. They have Pitt playing the KY/LaSalle winner in Kansas City.

But who knows what the NCAA will do.

Comment by Frank MD 03.08.13 @ 1:37 pm


There were some concerns about the strength and conditioning coach at the beginning. However it wasn’t inexperience, he had been at NC State for 5 years prior. If my memory serves, there were thought at the beginning that the conditioning he did for BC before he went to NCState was sub par as it focused on flexibility above strength at points.

Comment by Benzene 03.08.13 @ 1:47 pm

Thanks Benzene. I couldn’t remember the exact reason why people didn’t like him.

Comment by Wardapalooza 03.08.13 @ 1:56 pm

I hope this Jerry Palm’s bracketology is inaccurate.

Cause he us a #5 seed in the West Bracket. wtf

And get this we would play the 12 seed, who would be the winner of Kentucky/LaSalle. That is quite a 12 seed.

The 12 seeds in the other regions are Belmont,
Middle Tennessee State and Akron.

Not exactly on par with the 12 seed they have penciled in for us.

We usually get screwed in these brackets, I’m going to expect this year will be no different

Comment by EMel 03.08.13 @ 2:33 pm

@Emel – I don’t think KY is even going to make the dance much less a play in game for a 12 seed. I think Palm has been a little off this year. Lunardi’s isn’t much friendlier to us but it’s better than Palm’s.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 3:00 pm

Have any of these crackpots ever been right?

Comment by TX Panther 03.08.13 @ 3:08 pm

Tim Keeney at Bleacher Report has us as a 6 seed in the South Region playing Belmot (ugh) and he picks Belmont as his upset watch.

“This isn’t me not liking Pittsburgh. The Panthers have unique depth, are elite on the glass and pass the ball beautifully on the interior.

This is just me loving Belmont.

The Bruins have one of the best backcourts in America in Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson, are dangerously efficient on offense, force a lot of turnovers on defense and have gaudy experience. No one wants to play them.”

Top 4 are Kansas, GTown, Miami and Oklahoma State.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 3:09 pm

@TX Panther – Lunardi usually gets close to right but it’s too early still. He needs some data from the conf tournaments.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 3:12 pm

A website called TeamRankings (link to says Pitt is a 6 seed but puts our odds of making the final 4 at 12% and our odds of winning the whole thing at 3%. They give Florida the best chance (20% odds) of winning it all.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 3:19 pm

I hope you all are having fun with the proposed seeding predictions, and not obsessing about them.

Comment by wbb 03.08.13 @ 3:47 pm

If Pitt does play ND in the Tournament Dixon better have them running and playing the 2-3 zone the whole game.

We can’t beat them in the slow down half court game.

As for the conspiracy by the BE refs….anyone here not remember the 13-9 game? Anyone care to argue that that game wasn’t fixed (unsuccessfully) by the refs?

Comment by Jackagain 03.08.13 @ 4:04 pm

A lot of parity in college basketball this year with no real dominant teams. This could be a year when an under the radar team could win it all if they go into the tournament hot like UConn did a few years back.

I agree with Wardapalooza above, if Pitt plays ND I will probably avoid watching the game also. That tool Brey has Dixon’s number.

Comment by Floyd 03.08.13 @ 4:08 pm

@wbb – definitely just for fun. I’ve been watching CBB too long to think anyone can predict anything much less what the selection committee will do.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 4:14 pm

If you think Brey has Jamie’s number, better hope we don’t play Indiana. I don’t remember Jamie ever beating Tom Creal. Can anyone think of a W vs his teams? Thanks

Comment by pittman4ever 03.08.13 @ 5:02 pm

There is way too much stressing on this blog about projected seedings and brackets. There is still a week of basketball to be played and many seedings will changed based on the outcome of the various conference tournaments. Save your stress for when the actual brackets are revealed next Sunday. That’s what really counts!

Comment by midwest panther 03.08.13 @ 5:33 pm

midwest,we thrive on stressing over conjecture,and it is a major function of the site to allow participants to indulge in fantasy turmoil.Please don’t ruin our fun by asking us to deal in reality,let alone be patient.COME ON MAN!

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.08.13 @ 5:41 pm

lol spirit22….right on !

Besides it’s Happy Hour. :-)

And I think most of us anymore don’t stress too much over our athletic teams.


This is all fun !!

Comment by EMel 03.08.13 @ 5:50 pm

aNYWAY now back to some possibilities.

If Pitt can win the BE tournament, that should shoot us up to a #3 seed.

I would like to see a Pitt vs. Cuse final.

Since we two started the beginning of the end for the BE, we two should end it in style.

And of course Pitt beats Cuse again, and Boeheim again repeats >…..Pitt is the best team….by far that we’ve played.

Let’s Go Pitt !!!
Beat the Blue Demons !!!
VeV !!!

Comment by EMel 03.08.13 @ 5:59 pm

My long legged Redhead femme fatale has arrived to accompany me on Friday evening/nite maneuvers. :-)

So enjoy the evening/nite my Pitt brethren.


Comment by EMel 03.08.13 @ 6:10 pm

Tom Creal, actually Pitt used to beat his teams until that last couple of seasons. The miracle run in 2007, Pitt beat marquette. The tourney before, Pitt beat Marquette. I just think personally, it would be better coming off a victory than coming off cold. I like the way that the ACC does this because the top teams get to play bottom feeders and then wait until the quarters. It would be better to play Seton Hall in your first game than Cuse or ND.

Comment by Native Washingtonian 03.08.13 @ 7:13 pm

It’s Tom Crean. The former Marquette coach who took over the Indiana basketball job after Samson was fired is Tom Crean. He’s married to Jack and Jim Harbaugh’s sister.

Comment by Justinian 03.08.13 @ 7:22 pm

I have no fear of playing Notre Dame. They’re not that good. Yes, they’ve had Pitt’s number the last few years, but there was a time before that, when it was the other way around. I would love to see the Panthers kick their asses.

Comment by Justinian 03.08.13 @ 8:13 pm

Hope you have ESPN3 if you’re in the NYC area. Only source for the DePaul game tomorrow.

Game not on TV here.

Comment by steve1 03.08.13 @ 8:28 pm

Pitt is on WTAE tomorrow…

link to

Comment by Jackagain 03.08.13 @ 8:50 pm

If you’re in central or south jersey, the game is on channel 6 in Philly.

Comment by Scott 78 03.08.13 @ 9:52 pm

The game is on SNY in NY at 4 PM – is the time changed or is that a tape delay? It’s blacked out on ESPN3 in NYS and NYC metro area.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 10:00 pm

@Pitt Dad — tip off is at 2. Must be tape delayed because of a Mets’ game.

Comment by Scott 78 03.08.13 @ 10:17 pm

Knowing how conference affiliation can change quickly and often does, why would a new conference like the new Big East pick a name with a number in it, like the America 12? It’s freakin’ idiotic, but I wouldn’t expect anything else.

Comment by panther94 03.08.13 @ 11:09 pm

@panther94 – I suppose they can always change the number but I believe as “America #” they will appear in all lists before America East.

@Scott 78 – thanks. That’s what I figured but that’s no excuse for blacking it out on ESPN#3

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 11:16 pm

Notre Dame getting out of the BE cheap:

link to

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 11:17 pm

@Pitt Dad, I understand what you’re sayin’, but once you have the brand name, think Big 10 or Big 12, you don’t want to change it. I guess the PAC-whatever did, but I think the fact that I can’t remember the number is proof that they lose something when they change.

Comment by panther94 03.08.13 @ 11:24 pm

And also, I think USF, Cinci and UConn football belong in America X or Conf USA, but UConn basketball…that just seems wrong.

Comment by panther94 03.08.13 @ 11:29 pm

@Panther 94 – I agree, esp about UConn, but no one is going to really care about the name, even if they change the number. And the conference doesn’t want to get lost in the mix so this way they go to the top of the list.

They could have gone with Pan American conference. Or Continental Conference. Or they could have gone with The Remainders.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 11:49 pm

IU cut down nets after losing at home to OSU by nine!
Because they clinched a share of the conference title.
Respect is like virginity. You lose it and it is gone forever.
No respect for Creen or IU.
Bring on IU.
Creen’s team can cut down nets after we beat them too!

Comment by SFPitt 03.09.13 @ 1:01 am

“The game is on SNY in NY at 4 PM – is the time changed or is that a tape delay? It’s blacked out on ESPN3 in NYS and NYC metro area.”

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.08.13 @ 10:00 pm

Tape delayed because Mets exhibition game on at 1. On ESPN3 though.

Comment by steve1 03.09.13 @ 7:59 am

Let’s go out with a win and another great regular season.

The ACC should invite UCONN and Cinci. UCONN brings another great Basketball tradition, solidifies New England and New York for TV ratings. Up and coming football program. BC needs to get off their high horse and add a natural rival.

Cinci adds Ohio to the fold, fertile football recruiting area, more TV’s, solid Basketball tradition and up and coming in Football. Regional rival for Louisville and Pittsburgh. River City trophy baby. Thorn in the side of Ohio State monopoly.

This would help if ACC gets raided again. May make ND nervous enough to finally get off the pot. The musical chairs are disappearing. Less non-com games available.

Comment by gc 03.09.13 @ 9:12 am

GC is right! Isn’t that right GC!
UC would be a great fit and in BIG Ten country.
How is this for a slight? OSU will hold its spring game at Paul Brown stadium.
How would we feel if Sandusky State College held theirs at Heinz.
Conference realignment is not for the timid!

Comment by SFPitt 03.09.13 @ 9:54 am

One last thing. Went to the Akron/Kent game last night. The Zips point guard was busted the night before with 5 lbs of pot!!
Anyway, two kids from WPA on Zips. Kid from Moon and center from McKeesport.
They are nice players both.
But they would never play for Pitt…never see the floor.
These are the players Duquesne needs to recruit and get. Not us.

Comment by SFPitt 03.09.13 @ 9:58 am

For Pitt’s RPI and NCAA seeding, the following would help, along with a Pitt win in the Windy City this afternoon.

(11)Marquette (-8) over (70)St. John’s
(105)Lehigh (+1) over (173)Lafayette
(143)Mount St. Mary’s (+9) over (113)Robert Morris
(46)Cincinnati (-12.5) over (128)South Florida
(240)Fordham (+14.5) over (111)St. Bonaventure
(218)Duquesne (+15) over (80)Richmond
(127)Delaware (-9) over (321)Hofstra

Comment by xfmrman 03.09.13 @ 10:03 am

@steve1 – according to the map, it is blacked out on ESPN3 in NY, CT, northern NJ, western Mass, SW Vt. part of northern and NE PA, part of NE MD, parts of WI and MI and, for whatever reason, central FL.

Go figure. I’m in the office anyway but it would have been nice to have the ESPN3 stream. I’m sure I can find some other free website that has it.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.09.13 @ 10:15 am

SFPitt, Pitt did recruit the Akron center, if I recall it was down to Pitt & Akron.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 03.09.13 @ 11:06 am

can I get the game in new york city on msg or sny?

Comment by NYCPITT 03.09.13 @ 11:17 am

If you get MASN it is on there.

Comment by Frank MD 03.09.13 @ 11:59 am

Does MASN stream the game?

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.09.13 @ 12:12 pm

UConn & Cincy both have high school FB stadiums, so they’re not attractive to the ACC….and as I’ve said countless times…BC does not want UConn in the ACC.

I would rather they both go the way of Duquesne BB and fade off into oblivion. We recruit against these teams….same with Villanova…G’Town….St. John’s etc. and anyone else along the East Coast.

Comment by Jackagain 03.09.13 @ 12:38 pm

You want a stream?

link to doesn’t have it listed.

Comment by Jackagain 03.09.13 @ 12:40 pm

Also just ESPN stated Pitt on ESPN3 now but I who knows.

Comment by Frank MD 03.09.13 @ 1:14 pm

Cuse going down.

Comment by steve1 03.09.13 @ 1:38 pm

Cuse has only 37 points? Mygawd.

Comment by steve1 03.09.13 @ 1:52 pm

Jackagain, The ACC wanted UCONN before they wanted us and were blackballed by BC, so I don’t think the size of their stadium was a deterrent. Besides they have room to expand and its not the size of the stadium but the number of sold seats that matters.
Heinz Field didn’t get us into the ACC.

Comment by gc 03.09.13 @ 2:01 pm

They did recruit him and he was wise to go to Akron. The Subday PG says pro scouts are looking, but only as a body in camp.
He is very slender and plays a finesse game. Pretty 10 ft hook, but doesn’t have the body or the “nasty” to play low.
In the Kent game they needed him to get boards but he was nowhere to be found. Just not a physical guy and this was his senior year.
Good he went to Akron where he could play. Europe? Maybe. I hope so. He made the right choice so that tells me he uses good judgment.

Comment by SFPitt 03.10.13 @ 1:20 pm

Powered by WordPress ©

Site Meter