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January 27, 2014

Slight anticipation. Bit of excitement. Hard ticket to get.

Pitt got through their road game with Maryland. Duke throttled Florida State on the road.

Briefly, I’ll get some thoughts from the Maryland game out of the way, first.

I didn’t get to watch the Pitt-Maryland game until Sunday morning. I didn’t keep myself oblivious to the game the night before, so I knew Pitt got the win. I also knew that the final score got a closer and there was some angst towards the end. It means watching the game with all the unknown removed.

Pitt took the early shot from Maryland in the first five minutes. Let the crowd be into it. Then slowly, methodically took hope from the Terps for the next 30 before the desperation of Maryland closed the gap. Lamar Patterson just went off on them.

Yes, Pitt did not do a good job of making free throws at the end. In the final 2 minutes, Pitt was 5-13 on FTs. The only ones who shot free throws were Talib Zanna, Cam Wright and Josh Newkirk. Quite frankly, with those three shooting free throws, it wasn’t too far from what should be expected. As a freshman, Newkirk makes Brandin Knight look like Ashton Gibbs at the free throw line. 1-10 to this point. Zanna and Wright were probably one FT each short of what would be expected.

And still, it took a meaningless 3 with 9 seconds left to get the game to a four-point difference. Pitt made some mistakes, beyond the FTs down the stretch. It seemed they were too willing to go 4-corners, too early. There were a couple bad turnovers. But for the most part, they handled the desperate late effort from Maryland. They broke their press. That’s why you want to build up the lead on the road. Maryland wasn’t going to give up in front of the home crowd. Especially in this game.

Now for Duke.

Hard to believe Duke lost at Clemson a couple weeks ago. Especially considering the drubbing Pitt put on them and UNC gave them a beating as well last night. A good deal of the change has been because Duke has changed from that point. Particularly, they are playing defense.

“They have used that loss to learn,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said Saturday after his team committed 21 turnovers while losing to Duke.

The Blue Devils have reeled off four wins in a row, allowing 56.8 points per game. Duke’s foes have shot 42.7 percent (85-of-199) from the field, including just 29.4 percent (10-of-34) during the Blue Devils’ winning streak.

That allowed Duke to beat Florida State despite its worst shooting day of the season on Saturday.

“Defense,” Cook said. “It says a lot about defense. Guys weren’t on like we usually are. But we stepped up. We stepped up. Great rebounding from the big guys and the guards. If we just keep fighting and start making shots, we’re going to be an even better team.”

The Blue Devils are rebounding better, too, and will need to keep doing that to have any chance at Pitt tonight and at Syracuse on Saturday (6:30 p.m., ESPN).

Duke gained a 47-24 rebounding edge over Florida State one game after grabbing 14 more rebounds than Miami in Wednesday night’s 67-46 win over the Hurricanes at Coral Gables, Fla.

Freshman forward Jabari Parker, already the team’s leading scorer with 18.7 points per game, averaged 14 rebounds a game against Miami and Florida State.

One of the ways Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski has changed the mindset has to do with the way he rotates players. He’s been doing it in waves. Announcers have been regularly referring to as a line change since they are regularly switching 4 or even all 5 players.

In many ways, this is becoming the Duke team Krzyzewski envisioned before the season: athletic and deep; making up for a lack of size inside with effort; embracing a defensive mentality; even working in more of the full-court pressure defense that Krzyzewski talked about before the season, not that Duke needed it Saturday.

The blips – on defense, in the paint, in Jabari Parker’s game, in Rasheed Sulaimon’s confidence – appear to have passed.

“Anybody can be beaten,” Duke guard Quinn Cook said. “We can’t just keep outscoring teams. I think we realized that. Everybody is giving us their best shot. When we play defense and we play hard, the offense will come.”

Even without the hockey-style line changes, at halftime Krzyzewski had used more players (11) than Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton (eight), a shocking inversion of their usual practice. Hamilton typically goes deep into his bench, picking and choosing so freely that at times it appears random. Krzyzewski, who historically has been more comfortable with a smaller rotation, trumped him Saturday.

“We got a lot of depth, so we’re using all of our guys, everybody getting an opportunity, everybody being ready,” Cook said. “Just keep playing unselfishly, that’s what we envisioned. That’s what we’re getting to.”

To keep some perspective on the number of players used, only 8 of the 11 players had 11 minutes or more versus FSU. Krzyzewski may do the volume changes of personnel on the floor but it is mostly for only a minute or so at a time — which makes it look more dramatic. The reality was that only six players had the bulk of the minutes — 160 out of 200 available minutes (80%). Getting hung up on that aspect is misleading.

Lot of (local) media stories about how Pitt is looking to make a statement. About this being a game to see where Pitt is in relation to a legend. Which is amusing in so far as the players acknowledge the Duke name and Krzyzewski, but that’s about it.

“It’s going to be a great game,” Pitt fifth-year senior swingman Lamar Patterson said. “Duke obviously has a prestigious program. They’ve got national championships. They’ve got one of the best college coaches ever. They’re just known for their success.

“So when you have a team like us and coach (Jamie) Dixon — he’s building a program, and we’re reaching a level where Duke is at — it draws a lot of attention. Our fans are going to be ready, the Oakland Zoo is going to be ready, and we’re going to be ready.”

“I know them, and I watch them. They’ve got good players,” Patterson said. “That’s what makes Duke ‘Duke.’ They’ve got great players. But Pitt’s known for having guys who don’t have the accolades but just get down and gritty and grinding stuff out. If that’s what we have to do, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Perhaps that’s why Patterson was dismissive of talk of the presence of Coach K standing on the sidelines at the Pete for the first time.

“I’m a Dixon guy, anyway,” Patterson said. “Coach K is a legend, but we’re trying to get Dixon to be a legend, also.

“It’s going to be crazy. The Oakland Zoo is the best student section in the world, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing how they are. First and foremost, I want to get the W.”

Coach Dixon knows the difference between Pitt and Duke. Between he and Krzyzewski are stark.

The first thing Dixon mentioned when asked about Krzyzewski was his incomparable success at one school. “I also look at what he’s done for USA basketball.” Krzyzewski led the United States to gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and at the 2010 world championship. He will again coach the U.S. team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Then, there are Krzyzewski’s national championships at Duke.

Four of ‘em.

Krzyzewski also took Duke to seven other Final Fours and has an 82-25 record in NCAA tournament games, the most wins by any coach.

You might have heard Dixon hasn’t been nearly so successful in the NCAAs. He has taken Pitt to nine tournaments but hasn’t made it to a Final Four. His NCAA tournament record is 11-9.

“I don’t remember the wins. I only remember the losses,” [Dixon] said. “I can understand the disappointment. No one is more disappointed than we are when we lose.

“We haven’t won a national championship, and we’ve got to get one. It’s not about getting to the Final Four. It’s about winning a national championship. That’s something different. No one remembers who goes to the Final Four. Winning the national championship is the separator.”

Now, the reality is that this is a big game because of the opponent this year. Not the reputation they carry.

Overall the Panthers are 9-0 in games against Top-5 teams at Petersen Events Center. So while the Blue Devils have a Hall of Fame coach and name recognition, they aren’t among the highest ranked teams to play at Petersen Events Center.

That doesn’t mean this isn’t a big game, but its importance goes beyond the fact that it is Duke and neither of these teams has a signature win on their resume.

Pitt, No. 12 in one Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), has played only two games against teams in the top 50 of the RPI — Cincinnati and Syracuse — and the Panthers lost both of those games. The Panthers do have six wins against teams ranked No. 51-100, but they also have eight wins against teams outside of the top 150.

So in short, Pitt has done a great job of avoiding bad losses, which is always a key come NCAA tournament bid time.

But given how down the ACC has been this season, this is one of only four opportunities in the regular season for Pitt to notch a top-20 (RPI) win.

This game is probably more important for Pitt in terms of national perception than anything else. It is a hit if Pitt loses, and yes they are favored. But the overall impact on Pitt in the ACC ranks, polls and computers won’t be devastating. Perception-wise, any national article seems to make mention of the horrid Cinci game since that was the last big stage weekday game.





Superstition lives. I dug into the laundry basket and found my “blue and gold” plaid boxers from Saturday. Wearing them for tonight’s game. It’s a lock, Emel.

H2P and H2Superstitions

Comment by pmdH2P 01.27.14 @ 9:13 am

Further on in that Ron Cook article, that is listed above, Dixon drops the bomb and mentions national championships. He then throws down the gauntlet, by stating, “we need to get one, maybe this is the year”!
Alright then, deck the Devils!

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.27.14 @ 9:19 am

The weather may be in our favor. I hope Duke is cold, comes in cold, starts cold and the zoo keeps them cold!

HTP!

Comment by CompLit 01.27.14 @ 9:19 am

This definitely is not the biggest game ever at The Pete, but this game and Sunday vs. Virginia will have a huge impact on our chances to win the ACC. Can’t wait for both of these!

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.27.14 @ 9:33 am

The line just came out….took em long enough.

PITT -4

Duke is playing better but they haven’t played a defense like us. No not against the Twerps.
The D we played against Clemson and the 1rst MD. game. PITT might have coasted some against MD, the last game to save some energy. Randall got more minuted and Artis and Jones played over 15 minutes each.

Hope JD showed them we aren’t getting any respect from the media and they play,,,,,,,ANGRY !!!

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 9:49 am

CAUSE Emel is angry and when Emel is angry, PITT is angry.

Time to play, scramble the letters with Coach Alphabets.

And for the Panthers to piss all over the Dookies.

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 9:52 am

Duke throttled FSU at Cameron I think.

Comment by Greg 01.27.14 @ 9:54 am

@@@@@

This is not the biggest game ever at the
Pete. However given the love affair the
media has with Duke the game is important
to the perception of Pitt hoops. A win
moves Pitt to Top Ten.

Comment by JR 01.27.14 @ 9:55 am

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

Howard over Bethune-Cookman (Should be a close game)

Savannah State over Norfolk State (Savannah St. should win at home)

And, of course, Pitt will beat Dook.

Looking forward, Duke(15), UVA(21), FL St.(26), Syracuse(6) and UNC(50) are the only teams in the RPI top 50 that are on the schedule. And the only two (Cincy and Syracuse) that Pitt has faced, have won.
However,the next 11 games are going to be tough. Only 2 games will be against teams outside of the top 100.
The team cannot feed the talking head’s theory that Pitt has not played (or beaten) a good team, therefor they deserve no respect or ink.
The season starts tonite. Win. And keep winning.

Comment by xfmrman 01.27.14 @ 10:03 am

Let us NOT forget the war chant that will carry this team deep into the tournament,,,,

Play like champions tonight Panthers,,,,,

and,,,,,”Remember Syracuse”!

Hail to Pitt

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.27.14 @ 10:08 am

Emel:

I disagree that Pitt had a bad defensive game @MD.
Although is was not the best (D), it was more a bad effort on offense. There were 78 possessions in the game. Pitt barely topped 1 point per.

Comment by xfmrman 01.27.14 @ 10:09 am

CBSSports.com computer picks Pitt 65-64.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 10:14 am

The fans need to help out the Zoo tonight. Whoever made the comment about the Opera is right on.

Everyone need to join in the Let’s Go Pitt cheer tonight. Let’s show Duke what home field advantage is all about.

The road to respect in the ACC is Tobacco Road.

No smoking permitted at the Pitt, except us smokin’ their butts.

Time to make Dicky V cry again.

Comment by gc 01.27.14 @ 10:17 am

Sound familiar?
“For me, I was looking for familiarity, guys I’ve worked with or known for a very, very long time. Guys that I trust and interact with the players, the community ….”

Comment by JJ 01.27.14 @ 10:18 am

Thought this might be a good, quick read from Eamonn Brennen @ESPN….giving some great recognition to Lamar Patterson and claims he is the #2 player YTD behind the kid from Creighton. It is based on a # of statistical efficiencies and tendencies, but my overall take is that he has not really watched Lamar play as much as interpret the stats – either way, great to see the recognition and hope it translates to a great game by Patterson!

Comment by Brandon 01.27.14 @ 10:19 am

Here is the actual link….link to espn.go.com

Comment by Brandon 01.27.14 @ 10:20 am

@ xfmrman.

to each their own, however the Twerps got way too many easy drives to the hoop for layups and dunks off of missed shots. Didn’t pass the ‘look test’ to me.

Looking at the game stats, MD shot 48% from the field. (layups & dunks)

48% FG defense is not good Pitt defense. imo

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 10:23 am

Offensively Pitt shot a sterling 51% FG, what’s not to like about 83 points.

Nope the defense was not good.

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 10:25 am

Emel:

Point taken.

Comment by xfmrman 01.27.14 @ 10:26 am

We have some big games coming up, Duke, Virginia, Syracuse, NC (Miami may be tough on the road, they’re improving), so I think it’s important Pitt learns from its experience to date, and here are a few good points brought up on this site at one time or another:

1. At the end of games, be sure to have good free throw shooters on the court, meaning JR (best), Lamar (4th best), and BOTH Young & Artis at the same time, and don’t let anybody else touch the ball if it can be avoided.

2. Cam Wright is the 2nd most improved player this year, and has become a really solid mid range shooter to add to his fast break prowess, but he needs to avoid dribble penetration at all costs, he’s simply got a really weak handle, and that’s not going to change, so for the good of the team he needs to stick with what he’s good at.

Comment by 1618mt 01.27.14 @ 10:27 am

LP obviously passes the eye test for all of us, but statistically these are really impressive overall numbers- especially that almost 1/3 of all his passes leads to an assist. Wow.

“To date, Patterson is averaging 17.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He uses 28 percent of his team’s possessions, and he is ruthlessly efficient with them, whether he’s scoring (he shoots 56.6 percent from 2 and 42.9 percent from 3) or distributing (where 32.8 percent of his possessions end in assists). “

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.27.14 @ 10:27 am

@ gc….that was your’s truly.

We need some angry fans at the game tonite. Angry cause we get no respect, angry cause they kept us out of the polls as long as they humanly could. Angry cause they only ranked us cause they wanted to ‘protect’ Cusey.

Opera fans stay at home, please give your tickets to PITT ppl that are angry and red up with the favoritism paid the Dookies and the Cusey’s and the Tarholes and the Ohio Fakes.

Get angry, get mad, and get these preppie pukes.

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 10:30 am

Brings back memories when Sam Clancy ate Mike Giminski’s lunch.

Comment by alcofan 01.27.14 @ 10:30 am

red…..lol…..fed….as in fed up….

Kill the Preppies, Kill Duke !!!

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 10:32 am

Should set an attendance record tonight. A little over 200 tickets on stub hub, asking big money.

Hope people get there early.

Comment by gc 01.27.14 @ 10:34 am

I’m gonna go chill for awhile. So I can be nice and angry for the game.

Have a nice day :-)

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 10:36 am

@emel, I should have known. Let’s get ugly, leave the women and children at home. Unless they are loud.

R E S P E C T!

Comment by gc 01.27.14 @ 10:37 am

Emel, you sound very irritated this morning! Are you already wearing those Blue and Gold undies that you dragged out of the dirty laundry? Could be a rash brewing my friend, but whatever works, get irritated, get angry, get a rash and get a victory!

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.27.14 @ 10:37 am

Put on your face paint!

Comment by gc 01.27.14 @ 10:38 am

I’m with Emel. PITT seemed off against Md. Lots of lazy passes. I hope the focus is there tonight. Can’t wait!

Comment by Pittastic 01.27.14 @ 10:39 am

Pitt needs to win all its home games for a good seeding. The committee will note that all of the Top 50 RPIs they will have played (save Cuse, Cincy and FSU) have been at home..

Comment by wbb 01.27.14 @ 10:42 am

@Dr Tom

I do not loan out my “blue and gold” boxers—and so far I am showing no signs of a rash. A second round will not kill me. I promise that they will be laundered and ready for the Cavs on Sunday.

Emel, is just getting into his best “Richard Sherman” mood. I hope to see him with the Zoo tonight wearing the DJ headband and a bathrobe. Welcome to the Pete Dukies.

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 01.27.14 @ 10:50 am

Take a look at the pictures on the Zoo’s twitter feed. Awesome baby!

link to twitter.com

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 10:54 am

Wonder if President Obama will make an appearance tonight? He is in town for some unknown reason. He’s a huge hoop fan with a soft spot for Duke. His former personal assistant, Reggie Love, played for coach K.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 01.27.14 @ 10:57 am

The President is doing a trip to the Mon Valley Wednesday. link to post-gazette.com

I don’t think he’s in the Burgh tonight.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 10:59 am

Thanks for the clarification, I read it was going tomorrow, my bad.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 01.27.14 @ 11:08 am

State of the Union address tomorrow night. I think he’s working on that today.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 11:12 am

I have never been a Duke fan of any sort. I respect their tradition and Championships but not their fans. I was lucky enough to be at the MSG game back in 2007. I will never forget how Coach Dixon comforted Mike Cook who just blew out his knee. With Cook still on the floor, the Duke fans started a “Let’s go Duke” chant. The Pitt fans appropriately responded with “Get some class!” It was great that Fields’ 3-pointer in OT (along with Blair’s 20 boards) sent the Duke fans home disappointed.

HTP!

Comment by CalvinHobbes 01.27.14 @ 11:17 am

i haven’t been this excited about a basketball game in a long time. although we all know that there have been bigger and more important games played at the pete, there aren’t many things in this world that i hate more than duke. (other things include penn state, wvu, notre dame, the patriots, the flyers, the bruins, dick vitale)

we need the zoo to be in full force tonight. i worry that the rest of the crowd will be filled with the corporate suit and tie types, like the fans at consol have turned into since mellon closed. this game will go a long way in terms of national perception. we really need this one at home tonight. i think it will be important for jr artis, and cam to step up tonight, all attention will be on lamar and talib.

Comment by usd121 01.27.14 @ 11:28 am

Who’s Pitt playing?

Seriously. This is a Duke Team Pitt can BEAT… and SHOULD!

Comment by PittofDreams 01.27.14 @ 11:33 am

Some more UPBEAT Pitt Stuff. Now, these look like three WINNING smiles to me.

link to twitter.com

Comment by PittofDreams 01.27.14 @ 11:38 am

Glad to hear that Obama isn’t going to be around to disrupt the focus of all the positive energy being injected into this contest tonight. I love the ramping up of the momentum, can’t do anything but help motivate the Panthers,,,,,,BUT, lets get real. Without them bringing it and putting a hurt on Duke in the process of protecting our house, the hangover from such excitement just is that much worse.

Therefore, focus, play like we know you can, repeat the unselfish team performance that was apparent against the Clemson Tigers and bring home a solid victory on national TV. GO PITT!

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.27.14 @ 11:42 am

As we all have said all along – Dixon comment in post gazette – “More wins means more national exposure for a school. More exposure means more and better applicants. “I think basketball definitely helps the academic side,” Dixon said. “For the past 10 years, we’ve been right there with Duke in terms of wins.” NOW FOR FOOTBALL ALSO WOULD HELP.

Comment by Frank 01.27.14 @ 11:46 am

@CalvinHobbes I remember that and was there too and was part of that chant. I’ve been to some great Pitt wins but that game is my ultimate favorite.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.27.14 @ 11:48 am

James Conner?@jconner

Pitt vs. Duke Tonight! It’s about to get wild in the Zoo! Let’s Go #H2P #BeatDuke

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 12:09 pm

Just finished reading Ron Cook’s column from the PG. I could live without the words “throbbing” and “Petersen” used together in any form. And by live without, I mean don’t ever do it again. Like ever.

Comment by WorkinOnMyPittness 01.27.14 @ 12:14 pm

You guys gotta calm down. You’re getting me way too fired up & the game is over 6 hours away.

Comment by Nick 01.27.14 @ 12:37 pm

Please tell me it was more recent than 2007 when we played Duke in MSG! Where does the time go?

Comment by Yeti 01.27.14 @ 1:01 pm

I personally believe this is a big game despite the rankings (just maybe not on a national stage). It’s Pitt’s true first impression in their new league. They’ve played the peasants of the league but now get a shot at ACC royalty. A Pitt win really does send a message to the rest of the league that there is new castle being built. HTP!

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.27.14 @ 1:17 pm

If you get ESPN Classic, the 2007 PITT – Duke MSG game is being show from 5:00 – 7:00PM

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 01.27.14 @ 1:22 pm

Now 17 in the Coaches Poll

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 1:25 pm

OK, so the USA Today Coaches Poll has us 17 and Duke 16. But, look at the high/low. Duke got a 4 from some coach and its lowest is 20? And, our best was 17 and lowest is NR?

Now that should get Emel really ANGRY when he returns later. I wish that I was close enough to drive to the game tonight. I get it now, Emel. I am ANGRY, too.

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 01.27.14 @ 1:27 pm

Oakland Zoo Twitter post:

“we’re Pitt, we expect to win. We don’t storm courts”

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 1:27 pm

Exactly Zoo. When you know that you belong at the top, you handle a win as another affirmation of your position. of your worth. Storming the court sends the message that you did not expect to (or maybe even deserve to) win.

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 01.27.14 @ 1:36 pm

@Pitt Dad, thank you!! Posted that yesterday or the day before.

Not counting my chickens.

If we do win, I was hoping the Zoo knows not to storm the court.

Comment by Dan 01.27.14 @ 1:38 pm

posted yesterday or the day before, that I hoped they don’t storm the court.

Not your twitter info. Glad to see that.

Comment by Dan 01.27.14 @ 1:39 pm

@Dan

I am with you 100%. However, if we later see a vid of Jamie dancing in the locker room (a la Paul Chryst after beating Notre Dame(, that is way acceptable.

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 01.27.14 @ 1:47 pm

@pmdH2P and Dan – agreed with you then and now. Just wanted you to know that the Zoo agrees too. As Pitt students I would expect nothing less from them.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 1:57 pm

@pmdH2P, absolutely. They can have a dance off.

I also feel, the Zoo, should get a big head of Dick Groat, preferably one with DJ headband on like he was wearing the other night.

ps, the big head of Jamie, in full screaming mode is down right scary.

Comment by Dan 01.27.14 @ 2:06 pm

I love the fact Pitt students have never stormed the court.
It helps that they the students are all pretty much sitting on the court to begin with though.

My only complaint about the design of the Pete is the TV cameras should’ve been set up so they face the students and not at the luxury boxes that normally are half empty seats because people on the couches eating nachos since they might not even be Pitt fans but got the ticket as a company perk.
My seats look towards the students from a good angle and it is fun to watch when they are in high gear like they will be tonight.

Comment by milobloom 01.27.14 @ 2:16 pm

Pitt is TOO CLASSY to “storm the court”….

we’ve beat UConn, there…
we’ve beat the ‘Cuse, there….
we’ve beat the Irish, there….

BEAT THE DUKIES…..another notch in the belt. :-)

Comment by The TRUTH 01.27.14 @ 2:19 pm

@milobloom – at some games they send a hand held camera into the Zoo. I expect tonight will be one of those games. Up close. Personal.

I agree though that I like being able to watch the students when I’m at the Pete.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 2:19 pm

New gold out Zoo shirts for tonight!!

link to twitter.com

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 2:20 pm

Now we know. Dixon said it and he is in thick as thieves with Nordenberg and Pederson. Pitt wants to be Duke – academically that is. Pitt has always wanted to be Duke. I guess the late 70s and early 80s were times when Pitt wasn’t being Duke.

Duke doesn’t have a tax-dodging, hedge-fund governed medical center like Pitt does. Oh well.

Really no surprise.

Comment by TonyinHouston 01.27.14 @ 2:23 pm

Aaron Gray?@AaronGray_34

Good luck to the Pitt boys tonight, duke welcome to the @OaklandZoo

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 2:29 pm

Oakland Zoo?@OaklandZoo

@DukeForum we’re 9-0 against top 5 teams at the Pete. Expect to win every game no matter the opponent. You’ll see no court storm

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 2:30 pm

@TonyinHouston – Duke has a medical center. And it has its share of controversy. Big 60 Minutes report a few years ago on scam cancer treatments, padded resumes, etc. Duke Medical is small compared to UPMC but lots of issues anyway.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 2:40 pm

I was going to say the Zoo better not storm the court. When I was in the Zoo we didn’t storm the court after beating the Cuse with Melo and that team was awesome. However, saying Pitt fans have never stormed the court is wrong. I’d know because I was on the court when we did stormed it at the Field House court after winning the Big East regular season title. I’m thinking that will be the last time ever.

For seeding purposes, I feel the next two games are must wins. No way around it. Pitt doesn’t have good enough teams left on the schedule.

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.27.14 @ 2:43 pm

Rebounding the key to keep Duke from the ball – that’s how you beat them.

Comment by Frank 01.27.14 @ 3:01 pm

@Warda… Any chance we get to see ‘Cuse/Duke/UVA again in the ACC tourney?

Comment by CompLit 01.27.14 @ 3:03 pm

I meant never stormed the court at the Pete and since we see it a dozen times a year at different schools….I do recall a couple of times at Field House…… back then a court storming actually meant something.

Comment by milobloom 01.27.14 @ 3:06 pm

The line is Pitt -4.
And the o/u opened at 142, It has been steadily dropping. Now at 138.

Comment by xfmrman 01.27.14 @ 3:20 pm

CompLit, that’s true. Probably could get another good game or two in the ACC tournament. Home losses are never good though.

I don’t think it would even be possible to storm the court at the Pete with all of the security and that courtside has seats and not students.

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.27.14 @ 3:20 pm

@Wardapalooza, I disagree, it would be pretty easy to storm the court when the normal security is set up..it’s actually fairly easy to get around the court side seats..though if they add security sure they could make difficult to do.

Comment by milobloom 01.27.14 @ 3:30 pm

Ramon hit a 3 pointer at buzzer to beat the Hoopies.
Gibbs hit a 3 pointer from about 25 ft to bet Providence.

Pitt beat Cuse at home when it had Melo.

Pitt beat UConn at home when it had Gordon and Omekafor, and a fewyears ago when it had Thabeet and was #1.

If the Zoo didn’t storm the court then, it is likely to never do it.

Comment by wbb 01.27.14 @ 3:31 pm

The duke d played relentless last game which opened things up for an emotional Parker. Hopefully he starts cold and disappears. Duke pressured full court which led to turnovers. I would full court them right back. They are not the best dribblers of the rock. They are extremely quick, fast, physical and smart. We need to punch em in the nose as soon as this game starts and keep punching to the end. The good news is that a victory decreases the pressure of the next games. A non victory creates a big game situation against virgina (hoopie dialect).

Carpe’ Blue Devils

Newkirk may be the key for us as constant d wears out an opponent. JR is good

Comment by dhuffdaddy 01.27.14 @ 3:36 pm

Interview with Seth Greenberg on BlueDevilLair:

link to duke.247sports.com

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 4:00 pm

Just to Dixon doesn’t change his attire and wear Theresa Nuzzo’s old sweatshirt we should be in good shape tonight.

Comment by Yeti 01.27.14 @ 4:15 pm

thanks for the link pitt dad. i rather like seth greenberg’s commentary

Comment by usd121 01.27.14 @ 4:15 pm

@usd121 – any time. I like his commentary as well and, in this case, he seems to be saying it is tougher to come into the Pete than into Cameron.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 4:23 pm

HCPC just received his 2nd 2015 FB commit and it it isn’t an OL …. it’s a TE

link to rivals.yahoo.com

Comment by wbb 01.27.14 @ 4:25 pm

Chris Dokish ?@ChrisDokish 9m Bowers is already 6’4″ and 240 pounds. Very productive pass catching TE. Good speed. Great hands. Makes acrobatic catches.

Comment by wbb 01.27.14 @ 4:31 pm

Bowers reminds me of Shanahan nice pick up.

Comment by pd 01.27.14 @ 4:40 pm

Steven Adams weighing in on the Oakland Zoo Twitter:

Steven Adams @RealStevenAdams

This Pitt vs Duke game is going to be Awesome! The @OaklandZoo is going to make it special. I miss you people. #HailToPitt

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 5:06 pm

I can’t ever see this enough:

link to youtube.com

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.27.14 @ 5:09 pm

Pitt/Duke from 2007 on ESPN Classics right now.

Comment by Mailman 01.27.14 @ 5:33 pm

ESPN’s featuring the game now…of course most everything’s about Dook…

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Jackagain 01.27.14 @ 5:37 pm

Can’t remember being this fired-up for a game…probably since the regional final when Blair ole’d Scottie Reynolds on the game-winning hoop….but I’m not bitter. Zanna/Young/Artis gotta beat em up inside. Need great one from Cam. NO COURT STORM!!

Comment by Antiguafor200Alex 01.27.14 @ 5:52 pm

some times a team can get to high to up for a game just hope that does not happen,

Comment by Frankcan 01.27.14 @ 6:03 pm

How about that, in both polls….Pitt and Duke are ranked next to each other. lol

You can’t make this stuff up.

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 6:13 pm

We can insure no ‘court storm’….let’s blow them out !

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 6:15 pm

Fortunately the team is playing Duke tonight, and not the Pitt fans, because we are all for sure too amped. I don’t have the animosity to Duke (yet) that I had for UConn, Nova, WVU, G’town. But I won’t deny the importance of this game for Pitt’s national rep and more importantly for tourney consideration.

Re: Bowers, I hope that pic was taken in 9th grade…he looks like my paper boy (if I had a paper boy)!

Comment by Iron Duke 01.27.14 @ 6:20 pm

Gorman has us at #11. Sos22 must have put the ‘fear of God’ into that boy !

Vitale needs a good texting to. #20 (same as last week) Feel the wrath of the Panther !

Same with Feinstein, that putz.

And don’t even get me started on super schmuck Seth Davis (#22)

I’m getting angry…..really angry !!!

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 6:23 pm

there aren’t many things in this world that i hate more than duke. (other things include penn state, wvu, notre dame, the patriots, the flyers, the bruins, dick vitale)
Comment by usd121 01.27.14 @ 11:28 am

We have very similar lists. You are an extremely righteous dude !

I really hate that the Dookies aren’t ranked higher. Can’t remember the Pukes being this low ranked in a long long time. Strange but true.

Comment by Emel 01.27.14 @ 6:40 pm

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