March 16, 2014

Brackets get announced at roughly 6pm on CBS. ESPN gets to take control of the conversation at 7pm.

It seems like there are two deserving #1 seeds (Florida and Wichita State) and then flawed #2 (and #3) seeds that will see  two of them in 1 seed spot to be prime targets for derision (Virginia, Michigan, Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Villanova, Wisconsin, Louisville, Iowa State and Syracuse).

Still don’t see the ACC getting more than 5 bids. T.J. Warren is the best player in the conference, and I look forward to him going pro. But I don’t see his NC State squad making the field when they took that long to realize they needed to let Warren score while the rest of the team does everything else.

Pitt will be a 9 or 10 seed by just about any projection. But then again, we know how those things have worked for Pitt before.

I’m kind of hoping Pitt is a 10 seed rather than a 9. I just think this group will respond a lot better with more of a sense of disrespect.

Judging Florida bc they play hoops in the SEC is ludicrous. They are a very good team. Great Coach. Been there before and are balanced.. The Gators are legit and that is obvious with the #1 ranking.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.17.14 @ 4:59 pm

@ Old School

Well we better be prepared for their press, as in throwing over the dang thing instead of throwing into an immediate double team. Was pulling my hair out watching that continual madness against the Holes in a game that shouldn’t have been that close.

Or we’ll get pressed off the court.

Comment by Emel 03.17.14 @ 5:02 pm

What was up with Patterson standing on the baseline during the press?

Comment by gc 03.17.14 @ 5:08 pm

Dunno gc….they were all too bunched together which led to easy double and even triple teams.

I was screaming my head off for Lamar to throw it to mid-court instead of to JR. Or even the home run pass, all the way down if there’s a guy open.

Plus if you noticed they threw some really slow passes, when they did get it over halfcourt which allowed UNC players to catch up and prevent the 3 on 3, 2 on 1, etc.

Comment by Emel 03.17.14 @ 5:18 pm

If we beat Colorado does anybody know what time we would play Saturday?

Comment by Lou 03.17.14 @ 5:18 pm

ESPN Tournament Challenge (as of 5:30pm today)…

Upset watch

There are two 9-over-8 games picked by a majority of brackets so far:

• Pittsburgh (72.5 percent) over Colorado
• Oklahoma State (67.6 percent) over Gonzaga

Interestingly, Pittsburgh is a more popular pick than two 5-seeds (Cincinnati, Saint Louis) and three 7-seeds (UConn, New Mexico, Texas)

Comment by Mailman 03.17.14 @ 5:20 pm

^ the 3 on 2,

Florida’s press is a lot better than UNC’s. As UNC only uses it when they are far behind. Which isn’t often. Florida uses it as part of their game plan.

Donovan is a Pitino disciple having played for Providence in the 1987 Final 4, and of course Providence played with the press.

Comment by Emel 03.17.14 @ 5:28 pm

@ mailman
I think Pitt is getting a huge % based on all the talking heads on ESPN. From the bracket programs I’ve seen, they pretty much ALL,,,are picking us in that game.

Some even ‘talking up’ both Lamar & Talib.

IKR hard to believe.

Comment by Emel 03.17.14 @ 5:45 pm


I don’t have any hair left after football season let alone basketball

Comment by WLAT and the Big Beat!! 03.17.14 @ 5:56 pm

haha WLAT.

Yea any opponent punt returns were cause for cardiac irregularity.

Comment by Emel 03.17.14 @ 6:09 pm

Hoping we can play with the same attitude we had in ACC tourny-gotta have a sense of urgency

Comment by John 03.17.14 @ 6:17 pm

Last 5 games Nuke has played:

34 minutes NCSU
20 minutes Clem
24 minutes WF
28 mins. UNC
27 minutes UVA

Kind of interesting how his minutes have increased twofold in the last 5 games.

Comment by Emel 03.17.14 @ 6:25 pm

Cam is a potential liability in press, Newkirk, JRob & Lamar should handle the ball. Throwing Newk to the lions but he can adjust if he sees film and JD implements combination break outs and break backs. If Z ankle is OK he could be a weapon. Artis scares me in FL game, Donovan will attack him immediately. Tough spot, need Cam for D and boxing and rebounds but he’s not suited to break a press. Dixon will need some brilliant moves.

Comment by Old School Panther 03.17.14 @ 6:26 pm

Before we all get carried away with how to play Florida, Pitt has to get by Colorado. I’m not so sure we should be taking this game lightly. Hopefully, the players are taking it one game at a time.

Comment by MariettaMike 03.17.14 @ 6:26 pm

Agreed. Kick CO’s ass then we can speculate. Some of what we need to do in FL we’ll work on in CO. This is a two game prep but played one at a time

Comment by Old School Panther 03.17.14 @ 6:29 pm

Pitt is the clear favorite over Colorado because Colorado isn’t a tournament team without their starting PG. Pitt losing to them would be bad.

Pitt wouldn’t have prepared for press against UNC. Pitt would get one day of practice against press for Florida which hopefully would help clean up the spacing mistakes. Key will be to get stops on D to prevent them from setting up the press

Comment by Wardapalooza 03.17.14 @ 6:37 pm

Quess which team located in the boonies of central Pa is playing in the CBI.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 03.17.14 @ 6:41 pm

Quess which team located in the boonies of central Pa is playing in the CBI.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 03.17.14 @ 6:41 pm

Does it rhyme with ‘Dead Mate’?

Comment by Mailman 03.17.14 @ 6:47 pm

If we get into uptempo against the Buffs it could/would be a run-a-way win. imo

Some examples: (only looking at games since Dinwiddie got injured)

Utah beat them 75-64
Az beat them 88-61
ASU beat them 72-51
Wash beat them 71-54
UCLA beat them 69-56
Az beat them 69-57

They did win a few high scoring games but those were mostly against the dregs of the Pac 12. Wazu, USC and Wash.

They kept the score low in 1 win recently over Pac 12 dreg USC (59-56), Cal & Stanford both by identical scores of 59-56 as well. Strange.. all 59-56.
In their last game they got routed by 20 by Az, although it was a 3 pt game at halftime.

Their leading scorer is 6’10” 245 lb. Josh Scott who goes for 14 ppg & 8.5 rpg. Pretty good player shoots it 51% FG and 80% FT.

Again if we can score in the 70’s or close to 80, this should be a rout. If it goes to slogball, could be a nail biter.

I’d prefer we play uptempo.

Comment by Emel 03.17.14 @ 7:04 pm

My biggest issue is that IF AND I SAID IF, Pitt beats Florida (in my mind Colorado is a bump in the road) then I have to deal with firat, sedating the wife adequately enough into allowing me fly to Dallas, then I must match shots with Upittbaseball at Twin Peaks while not dissing him off enough so it ends up with me having no place to stay while in Texas, all the while not losing focus on rooting Pitt onto victory while in the Final Four. $hit life is complicated.

Some might say Pitt got a bum deal in seeding, I say, “beat Florida then make your airline reservations for Dallas”. Can’t wait to meet Upittbaseball in person and give him $hit face to face! (all in good fun of course)

Comment by Dr. Tom 03.17.14 @ 7:16 pm

James Johnson has been fired after only 2 years as VT’s men’s BB coach. Two years and gone hasn’t been done in 40 years in the ACC! Record was bad but you could see the young kids playing hard for him. Will his players walk, including PG Wilson who Blatherites had taken notice of as he was a local Pgh. area kid. AD had been in town for a month. VT MBB could be bad for years. He better have a big name hire in his pocket. Hail to Pitt! UPone

Comment by UPone 03.17.14 @ 7:21 pm

lol Doc

I believe we would end up in Memphis for the Sweet 16 should be fortunate to get out of the first weekend still alive.

So everyone will be fighting for rooms at the Peabody Hotel unless you’re a frickin duck.

So first Beale Street and some blues after Orlando and before Dallas and The Men’s Club, Twin Peaks.

Comment by Emel 03.17.14 @ 7:25 pm

Colorado is a very young team.
They start 1 freshman, 3 sophomores, and a junior. They go 7 (maybe 8) deep. Their bench is 2 sophs and a frosh. They have another freshman barely sees the court.

Comment by xfmrman 03.17.14 @ 7:46 pm

Beaver County Times has a nice feature on Durand Johnson (“Coach” Johnson):

link to

Comment by Howard 03.17.14 @ 9:36 pm

Just got word from Pitt ticket office that I have tix to Colorado game. See you on Church St in Orlando starting at 11:30 before tipoff. Weather predicted to be Sunny and 75.

Comment by OrlandoPittAlum 03.17.14 @ 9:46 pm

Wake has scheduled s news conference Tuesday to presumably fire their embattled MBB coach! Bzdelik had lost the Wake faithful months ago despite beating UNC, Duke and ND (x2) this season. Their recent blowout loss to our Panthers may just have caused their administration to give up on him! H2P! UPone

Comment by UPone 03.17.14 @ 10:49 pm

Nice promo piece on Pitt Footballs Spring S&C.
link to

Comment by Dr. Tom 03.18.14 @ 6:11 am

Thanks Doc. Good video.

Comment by notrocketscience 03.18.14 @ 6:24 am

Well, Wake fired Dino Gaudio a few years back even though he had a good record and his replacement has done nothing but lose.

Va Tech fired their coach after only 2 years, in retrospect, maybe Seth Greenberg wasn’t so bad.

Comment by wbb 03.18.14 @ 6:59 am

Here is Gaudio’s record at Wake

2007–08 Wake Forest 17–13 7–9 T–7th
2008–09 Wake Forest 24–7 11–5 T–2nd NCAA 1st Round
2009–10 Wake Forest 20–11 9–7 5th NCAA 2nd Round
Wake Forest: 61–31 27–21

I assume he was caught with the AD’s daughter or something

Comment by wbb 03.18.14 @ 7:03 am

wbb, Gaudio was fired because of his late season performance that was straight from the AD. The AD was saying how mad he was because Gaudio’s 2008-2009 team was ranked 1 in the nation before falling apart and the Final 4 talk by Gaudio got his hopes up too much.

By the way Gaudio’s incoming recruiting class was 6th in the nation.

When he was fired people were saying Wake is a great job with lots of talent and it will be easy to hire a new coach to take the team to the next level.

Comment by Wardapalooza 03.18.14 @ 7:38 am

I think our kids will crush Colorado.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.18.14 @ 8:36 am

Doc – Emel – I will be ready… If we beat UF I’ll pay for your flights…HAHA

Comment by upittbaseball 03.18.14 @ 9:05 am


Not my flight? I am crushed. However, if you pick up my bar bill at Twin Peaks and any other charges I incur there, we are good.


Comment by pmdH2P 03.18.14 @ 9:21 am

PMD – I don’t need to let you know I got your flights… Your my favorite on here so that is a given. Emel is right as Twin Peaks is nice but if we are opening this up to Strip Clubs then Twin Peaks will just be the appetizer. LOL.

PMD – Where do you live? PA? Take care my friend. Baseball needs to wake up. We aren’t in Kansas anymore. By the way anyone in for FIU and Miami for Football? Or Baseball in Miami?

Comment by upittbaseball 03.18.14 @ 11:01 am


We are sort the Ying and Yang on here. I am (perhaps) too optimistic at times and you can be a “dark” force. But. we both want the best for our team.

Am a Pittsburgher originally. Then lived in central PA for many years and now in western VA, near the WV border. Mountains. Boonies. Beautiful, but remote. About two hours in different directions to UVA (Charlottesville) and VT (Blacksburg).


Comment by pmdH2P 03.18.14 @ 11:11 am

While I was out to lunch I had the car radio on The Fan 93.7 fm. I was offended by the morons on the show, Ron Cook and Andrew Filliponi. They were discussing a Sports Illustrated article that showed pictures of famous alumni of the schools that had made the NCAA Tournament field. Filliponi asked Cook who he thought was among Pitt’s photos. Cook guessed, “Jonas Salk.” Filliponi said , “am I supposed to know who that is?” Cook responded ,the guy who invented penicilan.” What a couple dim wits .

Someone please let these morons know what Jonas Salk did. Salk was a legitimate hero who refused to enrich himself while saving and improving the lives of millions of children. He did his job so well that dorks like these two don’t even know who he is.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.18.14 @ 12:35 pm

PMD – Pretty down there. Especially around Blacksburg. Take care buddy.

Comment by upittbaseball 03.18.14 @ 1:21 pm

Sooo, I want to hear anyone/everyone’s pick to win it all and Final Four. 2 versions would be fine, picks with your head vs. “intuition”. Intuition would be who you feel is going to get on a roll due to recent play or seed or location or whatever.

Or maybe your upsets early or who you see overachieving in the first few rounds even if they don’t win it or even make Final Four.

Me: head picks are MSU, Zona, Louisville, Syracuse with MSU winning it all.

“Feel” picks are Virginia(the roll continues up to MSU), WSU, Wisc., and of course Pitt(IF they don the DJ headbands).

Early losers I think and hope include, ‘Nova, OSU, Florida, Zags, St. Louis, UMass, UNC and Iowa State.

Early upsets: NCState, SF Austin, Tenn, Dayton.

Watch this entire list be AWFUL. I gotta say, I really don’t have a feel for this year’s field like I have at times in year’s past.

Comment by TVax 03.18.14 @ 2:04 pm

Ranking of tournament coaches by basketball achievement as a player:

link to

Jamie is #15 (1 ahead of Boeheim)

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.18.14 @ 2:29 pm

Spirit, I heard that as well, and I immediately emailed the show with a correction. Of course nobody replied. I can only listen like 10-15 minutes at a time,hoping for some Pitt discussion, because they drive me nuts. Cook is just a curmudgeon who I doubt ever played a minute of any sport at a high level and Filiponi is so fixated on trying to be a contrarian that he doesn’t seem to realize that he sounds like a complete imbecile.

Comment by Carmen 03.18.14 @ 4:53 pm

Worthless….cause without looking it at, I guess Danny Manning of Tulsa would be #1.

Billy Donovan also played in a FF. But Manning won one and was the MVP.

Don’t we at Pitt know all to well for we had beaten those Jayhawkers earlier that year in the Rainbow Classic or the previous year.

Comment by Emel 03.18.14 @ 5:57 pm

Doc – Emel – I will be ready… If we beat UF I’ll pay for your flights…HAHA
Comment by upittbaseball 03.18.14 @ 9:05 am

First we got to beat Colorado.

Pitt is 0-4 in 8/9 games.

Time to get off the schneid.

Comment by Emel 03.18.14 @ 5:59 pm


I don’t know why Pitt fans don’t deluge The Fan with emails, phone calls, etc and get those 2 morons fired.

Cook knows damn well who Jonas Salk is, he’s just trying to belittle any Pitt achievements.

The idiot from Syracuse is…well…just an idiot from Syracuse. When they get beat in the Tourney, time to rub that in his face. The little geek.

Comment by Emel 03.18.14 @ 6:04 pm

That Vinnie guy is another idiot no nothing.

Comment by Emel 03.18.14 @ 6:05 pm

You know I quit listening to any of those types of radio programs.

First off the programs are at least 50% commercials.

And 2nd off, they have less knowledge than just about everyone on The Blather except trolls from Pedo State & WVcc. Well that might be a tossup.

Thirdly they are what amounts to SportsRadio trolls when it comes to anything Pitt. F’em and don’t listen.

Non participation will eventually kill ’em.

Comment by Emel 03.18.14 @ 6:19 pm

Jamie has to be feeling some pressure this week. He might be claiming to be the underdog but unfortunately the expectation at this point seems to be, beat Colorado and at least give Florida a game.

I have watched 4 seasons hoping to see Talib Zanna develop into his potential. There were times I doubted it would ever happen. Now that he is facing possibly the final game of his career I really appreciate the monster game against UNC because it validates the hope many of us had for him. 22/19 ain’t shabby by any measurement. Blair had a few big number, big games but Talib’s numbers are better than anything I remember Grey doing against a top team.

There were a lot of talented players on display and they can brag about the Jabari’s and the Innis’s but Talib had the best individual performance in Greensboro by far.

If Lamar can get his groove back and Talib can stay this focused we might be able to put on quite a show in Orlando.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.18.14 @ 7:20 pm

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