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January 27, 2014

Open Thread: Duke-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 6:15 pm

On Saturday I turned on the noon game on ESPN which was Miami-Duke. My 6-1/2-year old son came into the room to see what I was watching.  He’s at that stage where he is trying to watch some sports with me. He looked at the TV and with an exasperated sigh turned to me and said, “Really, Dad? Duke is on TV, again?”

I was so proud of him.

In some manufactured debate, there is the issue of whether this game is being treated as too big for what it really is. A game between two top-twenty teams, but not a top-5 team like Syracuse in a couple weeks. Or past games from the old Big East.

I considered that, but have really do see this as an important game.

It’s a Big Monday game. I would call that slot one if not the biggest spot of the the week. Even bigger at times than the College GameDay Saturday night game. On the weekend there are so many games, it is easy for them to blur. Big weekday college basketball games have less competition.

More people — and especially the media — tune in to watch. A win has huge implications for Pitt. Just consider how perceptions were initially cemented because of the Cinci loss on MSG. A weekday ESPN game.

Syracuse in a couple weeks likely will have a lot of meaning, but a win there is easily slotted into the whole narrative of how Pitt has dominated Syracuse. That they know the Cuse from all the Big East battles.

This is Duke and the ACC. They are the flag bearer of the conference in basketball. (Usually co-flag bearers with UNC, but they are not in that role this year). Pitt has rolled through the ACC to this point, but now it gets real. This is the game to make a statement.


Unranked Cal beat Arizona 60-58. Cuse will be #1 on Monday.

@OPG – didn’t see the whole Cuse-Duke game. How did the refs help?

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.02.14 @ 12:41 am

Are you referring to the block/non-call at the end?

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.02.14 @ 12:47 am

Or that Fair travelled before he got fouled at the end of OT?

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.02.14 @ 12:48 am

I’m glad to see this thread has finally surpassed 750 posts. I think we can get to 1000.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 02.02.14 @ 12:59 am

It appears that we may be facing a team today that is disciplined and will hold the ball a la ND in the past few years and Cincy earlier this year. The good thing is that there was plenty of time to prepare, but there is nothing like actually playing against a talented team like that.

IMO this is a very important game. Lose this and self-doubt begins to pervade throughout the players and the program.

Comment by wbb 02.02.14 @ 7:47 am

Here is an informative update about Pitt and the local schools concerning the upcoming LOI day. Freebeck did come in this weekend, and Franklin and Smith is trying to flip Montae Nicholsen but apparently unsuccessful
link to

Comment by wbb 02.02.14 @ 8:16 am

Very nice article in this morning Post-Gazette about Nordy rebuilding Pitt athletics.

link to

Comment by Justinian 02.02.14 @ 8:18 am

Perhaps Chas should look into migrating to a PHPBB bulletin board system for the Pitt Blather. PHPBB is easy to install and maintain. It also allows one to setup subject threads. Google PHPBB. I maintain this bulletin board for my high school. Best of all, it’s free.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.02.14 @ 8:21 am

Another article, this one in the Trib about college football signing day and keeping recruits in the fold.

link to

Comment by Justinian 02.02.14 @ 8:23 am

Even if Pitt loses today, you know what they won’t have done this season? Lost to a team currently outside of the RPI Top 50. Guess which previously undefeated team did do that last night?

Comment by Barvo 02.02.14 @ 8:31 am

Today’s games that can help Pitt’s RPI/seeding:

Penn State over Purdue (The Nits should get their 3rd conference win)

Cincinnati over South Florida (USF will not win in Cincy)

Pitt over UVA (Although UVA is a better team than Clemson, there are many similarities with them. Each team has excellent defensive stats, but are not the most efficient offenses. UVA is a bigger threat from 3, though. Pitt is coming off of a loss to the best offense team in the country. Pitt will not lose 2 in a row at home. I do not expect a close game)

Comment by xfmrman 02.02.14 @ 8:31 am

I’m more excited about today’s ACC basketball game with Virginia than I am about the Super Bowl. It’s a big game for the Panthers and the Pete should be rocking this afternoon. Paul Chryst has 30 football recruits in this weekend including quarterback Freebeck that will be at the Virginia game today. It should be a great game and a lot of fun for the recruits.

Comment by Justinian 02.02.14 @ 8:39 am

7th ranked, 10-1 Panthers wrestling team storm into morganhole and take no prisoners! 33-6 PITT! Way to go men! Great start to a big weekend! Hail to PITT Wrestling! UPone

Comment by UPone 02.02.14 @ 8:54 am

If any of want to be amused this morning click on the link below. Cardiac Hill reports that Mark May called out Todd Graham, after hearing from two ESPN reporters that Graham was lobbing like heck for the Texas job.

link to

Comment by Justinian 02.02.14 @ 8:55 am

I always liked Mark May……….now I like him even more. Way to go Mark. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Justinian 02.02.14 @ 8:59 am

“I’m more excited about today’s ACC basketball game with Virginia than I am about the Super Bowl.”

And well you and we all should be Justinian.

I could care less about Super Bowl whatever. Only reason I’ll see it is we are going to a SB party and it will be on and some ppl will actually be discussing it.

NFL is a shell of it’s former self. Just like the NBA.

Comment by Emel 02.02.14 @ 9:06 am

xmfrm, good points, wish I shared your view about a (not so close) Pitt win but certainly hope you are correct

Justinian, I think most of us are more excited about the Pitt – UV game. In fact, if the game turns out to be a dud, I’m watching Shameless at 9 pm …. which wouldn’t be the first time I turned off the SB

Comment by wbb 02.02.14 @ 9:10 am

actually, Fraud would probably have been a more popular choice in Texas than Charlie Strong since he (Fraud) is a native son.

But I think it says something that the new AD, who came from ASU, apparently did not seriously consider Graham for the UT job

Comment by wbb 02.02.14 @ 9:14 am

Lots of ranked teams went down last nite, so if we can ‘hold service’ we might actually move up or maintain our #18 ranking.

They will attempt to ‘slow it down’ and we should attempt to ‘speed things up’.

Don’t want this to become a halfcourt snail game, as they are very good at that.

Comment by Emel 02.02.14 @ 9:14 am

… ‘especially’ since Fraud is a native son (but not the only reason)

Comment by wbb 02.02.14 @ 9:16 am

UVa nearly beat Duke at Cameron Indoor by keeping the game in the 60s … something that Pitt or Cuse was unable to do. Did you notice Boeheim’s post-game comments about Duke scoring in the 80s (he definitely didn’t want it)

Comment by wbb 02.02.14 @ 9:20 am

This game is huge and could be a real turning point in the season. A big downward turn is likely if we lose, the schedule looks immensely more difficult.

A win puts us back in second place and confidence heading to Miami with Syracuse on the horizon.

We need very badly to beat a top 50 team.

With Stanford and Clemson being our best wins we aren’t fooling anyone. Pundits are waiting to say see I told you so.

Who could have predicted a game vs. VA would be so meaningful.

Comment by gc 02.02.14 @ 9:28 am

I’ll check back after the game. Looking forward to the “game thread”.
I hope we can all enjoy the game.

Comment by xfmrman 02.02.14 @ 9:42 am

I think we had someone named Ditka play forward for a while in the very late ’50’s–wonder whatever happened to him?; a very nice guard named Dave Roman played guard during my ’60-’64 years; and Tim Gurgrich made the key play against Purdue, and Olympian Terry Dischinger! Timmy was an outstanding assistant coach in the NBA for a number of years!

Comment by Stan Schweiger 02.02.14 @ 9:53 am

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