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March 14, 2013

So far it’s all been chalk. No shocks. Small struggles, but nothing unusual. Which seems unusual.

Unfortunately I am time-crunched. Link time.

Pitt feeling confident coming into the final BET. At least based on the regular season results, they should be.

No one should know what to expect from this team, though.

Syracuse is feeling their own level of confidence for this game after James Southerland snapped out of his slump against Seton Hall.

The Orange feel like they have more options with Southerland.

“He’s going to help a lot,” sophomore forward Rakeem Christmas said. “We have someone to kick it out to and shoot 3s. We didn’t have that the last time. We’ll have a good 3-point offense this time.”

Southerland might solve some of Syracuse’s offensive issues against Pitt, but rebounding has been the biggest problem. Pitt has outrebounded Syracuse by 14 in each of the past three meetings and by an average of 11 in the past six. Even when Syracuse beat Pitt in 2012 at Syracuse, Pitt won on the rebounding battle, 38-24.

Syracuse hasn’t outrebounded Pitt since Jan. 4, 2007.

But it didn’t matter. Pitt won that game, too. Before Pitt fell at Syracuse last year the Orange’s previous win in the series came in the 2006 Big East tournament championship.

“They’ve been beating us up a lot lately,” Fair said. “We just have to come out and play strong, physical and play the way we did [Wednesday]. If we do that we’ll be fine.”

“They have physical guys who can take up space and rebound on the offensive and defensive glass,” Fair said. “We played really good defense in the first game. Our offense wasn’t clicking. I think [today] will be a different story.”

Kind of wish Pitt and Cuse weren’t meeting today. The fun storyline would have been both teams meeting in the Big East Tournament Championship game.

In case you missed it. I doubt it, though, Tray Woodall was All-Big East honorable mention and Steven Adams made the All-Big East Rookie squads.

In other links.

Hey, the NY-NJ Pitt players connection to the BET.

A couple pieces from earlier in the week on Durand Johnson taking advantage of opportunities when they come.

Nice piece on the evolving view of Dante Taylor.

By the way Dejan Kovacevic is clueless when it comes to basketball, so I give his opinions zero weight. There are plenty of people on here who are a lot more knowledgeable about basketball. In his article he mentions two things that I thought were pretty ignorant. 1. He references scoring per game, which we all know depends a lot on pace. Adjusted for pace like they do on Kenpom, Pitt’s offense is really good. 2. He says Pitt is not a great defensive team per the Pitt standard, which in reality this Pitt team is the best D team in terms of eficiency since 2006. If you look at the stats, even the 1 seed Pitt teams have been pretty pedestrian in terms of D.

Comment by Wardapalooza 03.14.13 @ 8:24 am

Very important game today, obviously. To me, it will be a good barometer of expectations for the Big Dance. This game sets up like a 4/5 game. If we are able to rebound, contain Fair and Southerland, carve the 2-3, and score enough to win…I think we have a shot to get to the S16.

Comment by ECH 03.14.13 @ 8:26 am

Shortly after 2 pm today, the talk will cease and the walk will matter.
Play hard every minute and good things will happen.

Comment by sfpitt 03.14.13 @ 9:00 am

Go Panthers!

Comment by Justinian 03.14.13 @ 9:51 am

Should be the best day of basketball all year. Any of the eight have a chance.

Syracuse has been down, but still have the horses. Should be a war. Depth won’t matter if we don’t win today.

Woody should be pretty geeked up. Adams and Robinson first Big Time game at MSG. Hopefully not last.


Comment by gc 03.14.13 @ 9:57 am

Other than (40)Pitt (-2) beating (15)‘Cuse today, there are 2 other game that may help Pitt’s RPI:

(12)Michigan (-14.5) over (182)Penn State
(273)Delaware State (+2.5) over (283)Hampton

Comment by xfmrman 03.14.13 @ 10:24 am

According to Kenpom, the best game of the day should be the Pitt/’Cuse game.
“Thrill Score” 76

Comment by xfmrman 03.14.13 @ 10:30 am

Pitt has dominated on the boards against the Orange this season and that has to continue for the win. Lets hope that Southerland’s hot hand at the 3 point line yesterday was a flash in the pan. If so Pitt’s good fortunes should continue against Syracuse.

The team to beat IMO is Georgetown. Many who comment here are too concerned about who Pitt my face on the other side of the BE bracket down the road. I say one game at a time, but if we DO get by Syracuse, then worry about Georgetown FIRST. I don’t care if we did mop the floor with them in the regular season. IMO that is a deficit not an advantage. They want payback! This Georgetown team is peaking at just the right time, similar to Pitt. I’m feeling a win against Georgetown would put us in the drivers seat for taking it all in the BE Tourney.

Comment by Dr. Tom 03.14.13 @ 10:36 am

@ gc: While I agree wholeheartedly that this is probably the biggest game of the season to date, don’t forget that Robinson and Adams played at MSG against then-#4 Michigan and let the game slip away. I was at that game and Adams played TERRIBLY. Hopefully Dixon has politely reminded him of that, explained it might be his last opportunity (until and unless he goes pro) to play at The Garden, and he better step it up.

Slightly insider scoop: I go to school in NYC and ran into JJ Moore at Penn Station on Tuesday. He was very excited about the game and looks to replicate his 21-point performance from last game. He seemed genuinely locked in about it and I’m expecting a big game out of him. You heard it here first…. (or you didn’t)

Comment by MikePITT 03.14.13 @ 10:46 am

The bracket is shaping up to be the exact opposite of ’08, the last time Pitt won. That year if you recall, it was all about Pitt going on a “revenge tour” against teams which has beaten them: Marquette, Louisville, Georgetown. To me, that made the run even that much sweeter.
So you know both Syracuse and Georgetown would LOVE another crack at the Panthers, especially since both defeats were such thumpings.
Then again, putting two beat downs on a team makes it that much sweeter, also.

Comment by JW 03.14.13 @ 10:49 am

Elmore doing the Georgetown/Cinci game.
I guess we are stuck with him in the Pitt game too.

Comment by xfmrman 03.14.13 @ 11:04 am

Looks like GTown Cincy could be high scoring. 10 pts already in first 2 min.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.14.13 @ 11:09 am

Only worry I have is if Pitt can score enough points. D and rebouding will be there.
Let’s go PITT!

Comment by Dan 72 03.14.13 @ 11:10 am

16 pts in first 5. Slowing down.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.14.13 @ 11:17 am

Cincy deserves to lose on uniforms alone.

Comment by Dan 03.14.13 @ 11:19 am

@Dan – what did you think of ND’s new unis? Someone took a green highlighter to everything.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.14.13 @ 11:33 am

My fear is that Fair, Triche or Carter-Williams gets hot and gives Syracuse a second scorer to go with Southerland.

Whoever Woodall guards will have a size mismatch/advantage. Fair will also have an advantage. Pitt will need to mix in the zone defense to help on those guys.

Southerland will get the four out of the paint. So Adams needs to take advantage of the mismatch he’ll have on Christmas (who stinks).

Comment by Boubacar Aw 03.14.13 @ 11:34 am

They’ve apparently reverted back to the mean in the Cincy-Gtown game. Hoyas 15-7 after 11.5 minutes

Comment by Lou 03.14.13 @ 11:35 am

Adams will need to have 12 plus rebounds for Pitt to win.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 03.14.13 @ 11:36 am

Just another exhibitation game today, season starts next week

Comment by alcofan 03.14.13 @ 11:47 am

Cinci shoots its way back in. At least they made it a game.

Comment by gc 03.14.13 @ 12:06 pm

Any word on Adams ankle, JRs thumb? Hope they are at or near 100%.

Even will all the success v. Syracuse, not thrilled to see them today. Boeheim’s teams either flop in post season, or underachieve in conference play and go on post season runs. Hope this year’s disappointing team is not primed for a run. They certainly have the talent.

Why does the city of Cincinnati insist on imposing these hideous black and orange cat stripe uni’s upon us at very opportunity? Thank God the Reds are the Reds and not the Tigers…

Comment by Iron Duke 03.14.13 @ 12:08 pm

@Pitt Dad. I’m big on tradition as many know, and many of you are, but not a fuddy duddy.

ex. If Pitt went back to Pitt script, I wouldn’t be opposed to once a year having a Nike combat uniform or something.

So, suprisingly, I think the ND uniform could have been ok, if they didn’t do the electric green shoes. That ruined it all.

Just being loud, to make it loud, doesn’t make it nice.

I liked Raftery’s comment, something about, “I hope they leave some of these uni’s in their suitcases!”. LOL

Another good example of not being a fuddy duddy, I absolutely love the Pitt gold home uniforms with “Panthers” on the front.

They’re consistent, they look sharp, they look good.

Marketing geniuses?? A lot of them are just like a lot of people called “visionaries”. LOL

Comment by Dan 03.14.13 @ 12:11 pm

Grabbin’ a sandwich, then it’ll be game time!!

Let’s Go Pitt!!!


Comment by Dan 03.14.13 @ 12:12 pm


Just wait until you see the away jersey.

Comment by Benzene 03.14.13 @ 12:16 pm

@Dan — the away unis are hideous.

Just saw Jack R. Anderson and the Pitt Band at the garden. AWESOME. Had to go back to the office but had to say hi to Jack. Nicest guy (and he has the best job) in the world.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.14.13 @ 12:59 pm

When’s tip-off?

Comment by Lou 03.14.13 @ 1:40 pm

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