The game is at 1:40. It’s on TBS. On the bright side, it isn’t a noon tip. The downside (for me) is picking up the kids from school roughly as the second half is getting underway.
Will Pitt be able to avoid yet another slow start to their game? They are definitely aware of it. I’m not sure that it makes a difference or not — the being aware of it part. The fact is, this Pitt team has started most of their games — win or lose — sluggishly. Fitfully. At this point in the year, it is hard not to shrug and acknowledge that this team doesn’t get off to good starts.
Dante Taylor got six stitches above his right eye from the Syracuse game last week. The eye is still a bit swollen, but he’s not missing the game.
“Except they’re maybe a little bit bigger,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. “They appear to be an inch or two bigger per man across the front line. Maybe our guys have grown an inch or two, but if it’s a mirror image I hope we stack up physically with them.”
I have to believe Lamar Patterson did not say this with a straight face.
“It should be an (up-tempo) pace, probably, because everyone has fresh legs to throw in there. So this should be a fun game.”
Of course Coach Jamie Dixon is bothered by the losses in the NCAA Tournament.
Know that smile Jamie Dixon will flash when he thinks a referee has butchered a call?
The one where his arms are folded, the head tilted a bit, the foot tapping, the skin seemingly going green as it’s about to burst through the suit seams … and yet his face somehow conveys sheer, unfettered joy, his every tooth showing and cheeks stretched like Christmas morning?
Well, as a public service to Pitt basketball fans, I’m here to break it to you (MEGA-SPOILER WARNING): It isn’t remotely real.
Yeah, you’re welcome.
But you know how I became sure?
As part of a good talk Dixon and I had shortly before the Panthers embarked for Utah, the coach flashed almost exactly that same smile upon my broaching the topic of his personal history in the NCAA Tournament.
“I guess it’s the time of year,” he said. “We don’t talk about other jobs. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do. We’re used to it, I guess. And it happens to everybody, I think, this time of the year. It’s speculation, I guess, so I don’t give it much thought.”
Hopefully there will be more games to play to avoid any talk about the issue for a couple weeks.