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March 13, 2017

Nothing particularly coherent. Just the jumble trying to work through after a week of basketball and then the NCAA Tournament field (and NIT) being set.

Let’s all give a big cheer for the NIT having a fantastic sense of humor. Days after Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim, in a post game press conference, went off on the uselessness of Greensboro, NC as a site for the ACC Tournament (he’s not wrong). Followed by Greensboro’s twitter feed dropping the mike. And just for good measure, the minor league team piling on. The NIT gave the #1 overall seed a home game with UNC-Greensboro. It is truly an amazing thing when the NIT can actually pull a significant amount of attention from the NCAA Tournament bracket.

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March 18, 2016

Once more. 6:50 PM on TNT.

I’m actually watching this game in a public place. I’ll either be completely reserved or a bit of a lunatic. There is no middle ground.

This should be a close game played. Tempo will be slow, but I expect the score to be in the 60s. Not a defensive struggle so much as efficient offenses willing to let the clock go to get their shots.  Whether it is Wisconsin with a swing style offense or Pitt with motion. Both teams depend on ball and player movement to find the best look.

I expect both teams to have a short bench tonight.

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Note, I will be tossing up a second open thread specific for Pitt Wisconsin later in the afternoon. Reed also has some spring football notes. Busy day.

If you are a Cleveland area resident, hopefully I will see you at the watch party tonight. I keep promising to make one of these, this time for sure.

Good first day. Not a complete bracket destroyer unless you somehow had faith in Arizona, Baylor or Purdue making a run. Seriously. You were putting your faith in Baylor or Purdue to make it out of the weekend? You deserve what you get for that.

Arizona got manhandled by Wichita State in the opening round. Seems vaguely familiar. Did anyone make sure Sean Miller got an IV of fluids or something? I’ve never seen a coach sweat like that so quickly before. I was worried he was going to collapse on the floor from dehydration. Nope. Only Tony Bennett did that yesterday.

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March 17, 2016

It’s here. It’s here. Crap, I haven’t filled out a single bracket. Well, it’s not like carefully studying and thinking about the brackets for hours on end has ever worked out for me.

St. Patrick’s Day and the start of the NCAA Tournament. Stay away from the bars.

UNC-Wilm. vs Duke     12:15 PM    CBS
Butler vs Texas Tech     12:40 PM   truTV
UConn vs Colorado       1:30 PM      TNT
Iona vs Iowa St.             2:00 PM     TBS
Yale vs Baylor                  2:45 PM     CBS

That doesn’t look like a half-bad way to start things off today.

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March 14, 2016

Pitt Gets Fair Seed

Filed under: Basketball,NCAA Tourney,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 7:33 am

I can’t complain over Pitt’s seed or opponent.

Pitt is a #10 seed in the East Region. They will play #7 Wisconsin in St. Louis at 6:50 pm on Friday on TNT. TV viewing-wise, that is remarkably convenient.

Pitt is a slight underdog against Wisconsin.

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March 21, 2015

Woefully poor form of me not to acknowledge the Women’s Hoop team. They made the NCAA Tourney and play today at 11 am on ESPN3.com against Chattanooga. An amazing turnaround.

As for the other NCAA Tourney…

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March 20, 2015

Well that first day was predictably bananas.

UCLA and the Alfords continue to lead a charmed life.

The Big 12 faceplants — hard. Texas down to Butler. Iowa State never put away UAB, destroying brackets everywhere.

Then there was Baylor blowing a huge lead against Georgia State. Creating an all-time moment at the buzzer. Both for the shot by R.J. Hunter and Head Coach/Dad Ron Hunter.

I can’t tell you how many times I keep watching that.

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March 15, 2015

Sorry to have been offline most of the week. Had to do a bunch of overnights for work this past week, and the adjustment didn’t go well. Basically, I felt like a zombie all week. Missed a ton of games and couldn’t muster enough coherent thoughts in my down time to post. Not even on Twitter.

So, I feel recovered a bit now, just in time for the Selection Shows.

The NCAA Tournament selection begins at sometime around 6pm on CBS. That really doesn’t impact Pitt directly. Other than the discussion of bid steals and what that means in terms of pushing other teams down to the NIT.

The NIT announcement comes at 8:30 on ESPNU. As much as Pitt has lost 4 straight games to knock itself out of the NCAA  Tournament bubble talk. As negative as some have been after everything, Pitt hasn’t pushed themselves out of the NIT. It would be a complete stunner to see them not make the NIT. The only issue is whether they are going to be a high enough seed to host a game or two.

February 24, 2015

It has been a couple decades since Pitt the waning days of the college basketball season wondering if they did/will/can do enough to make the NCAA Tournament. It has been rather straight forward for Pitt. Either they were clearly good enough that the issue was seeding. Or the Panthers were simply bad and not in the conversation. As such, the understanding of the bubble can be a bit confusing.

So, to simplify things, I’m going to put a little primer on Pitt’s situation. It’s not all encompassing, but it hits the key point.

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February 10, 2015

Slim.

 

 

Oh, you want more detail?

Mostly slim.

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March 22, 2014

I can’t be home for this one. I mean I could, but I am a little too tense to be home watching the game while the kids are bouncing about the room. Better to be in a bar with strangers who will not see me again.

I don’t know who the Florida homer they gave a press pass to, but you have to believe the same guy who went around asking Pitt players if they were intimidated at the prospect of playing Florida was at it again on Friday.

A reporter asked Cam Wright if there was a “gosh, wow thing, where you go [Florida] just looks incredible and there’s no way we can compete with them.” Wright, baffled by the question, answered “Next question, please.”

Wait. What? It wasn’t a Florida homer. Dejan, Dejan, Dejan

I asked Wright if, in watching video of the Gators, he had any gosh-wow, no-way-we-compete-with- those-guys sense, and he hesitated awhile before answering beautifully.

“Um, next question?”

Man, I don’t even know anymore. Spin the column and the question anyway you like, but that was some first-class troll bait.

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March 21, 2014

Intimidation?

Filed under: Basketball,Media,NCAA Tourney — Chas @ 7:39 am

I actually want to thank the reporter that asked this.

“Is there any intimidation level for you guys facing a No. 1 team?” a reporter asked of the matchup Saturday with top overall seed Florida.

“Intimidation?” Patterson said as he did a double-take. “Do you know anything about Pittsburgh basketball? No, we are never intimidated.”

The question was asked of Patterson and several other players in the locker room after Pitt’s 77-48 win against Colorado Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament — and this was before the hometown favorite and No. 1 seed even took the court to play its game.

That’s a great response by Patterson. Just the WTF response that it deserves.

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March 20, 2014

You know why this beatdown has to really hurt Colorado? Pitt announced what they were going to do on defense a couple days before the game happened. They were going to double-team the Buffs. Especially in the paint. Make Colorado pass out of it and see if turnovers could be created. That was exactly what Pitt did from the opening possession. And Colorado had no answer.

“We knew they were going to double the post,” CU head coach Tad Boyle said. “We didn’t handle the doubles out of the post. It wasn’t just Josh, it was all of our guys.”

Scott finished with 14 points and six rebounds, but had just five points at halftime, as Pitt made him a non-factor when it mattered most.

“It’s something I’ve had to work on all year, and they were a good defensive team and they rotated out of it,” Scott said. “They covered a lot of space. So credit to them.”

In the early minutes of the game, CU tried to go inside, but couldn’t get anything going in the paint. The Buffs had four turnovers in the first few minutes and it took 6 minutes, 19 seconds for them to get their first shot attempt inside the 3-point arc.

“We really wanted to guard the ball screens, we really wanted to take away their post offense and we did that early, and I think that was evident,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said.

Just a little.

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No games in front of Pitt, so barring a power outage the game should start on time.

1:40 pm on TBS.

I’m either DVR delayed or secretly watching the game at a bar while technically at work. Either way, that means you won’t be hearing much from me.

I do expect a close one. I wish the Buffs was more hateable. I like Colorado and their coach, Tad Boyle. He’s done an amazing job at a place where there has been even less historical success than at Pitt. This is the first time they have ever made the NCAA Tournament three straight years. It was 50 years ago from the last time they went in consecutive years.

Both teams will be emphasizing defense and rebounds. Similar philosophies and all.

The issue for Colorado is offensive efficiency. They turn the ball over a good deal. For Pitt, it usually comes down to the shooting. Not just from outside but are the shots going when they get close to the basket.

And hopefully doesn’t come to an abrupt end.

Going primarily links today, because time is precious. Not to mention I’m already kind of jittery for the game this afternoon. Going to be a long 5 hours or more.

Let’s start with a football note of sorts. We are all worried about the lack of depth at QB for Pitt. Well, Colorado had 6 QBs leave in the last year and are bringing in a member of their equipment staff to take snaps in spring practices.

Sheldon Jeter is in community college in Florida, so he is on hand to take in the game.

Injuries changed both teams. More so for Colorado, who had guys have to alter their roles significantly.

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