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March 8, 2017

9pm, ESPN2.

The last time these two teams met, all of five days prior, it didn’t go so well for Pitt. Senior suspensions. Blowout loss. And the look of a team that just wanted to pack it in.

I know, getting hyped for this game, huh?

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March 7, 2017

7pm, ESPNU.

Wait. Pitt’s favored in this game?

I suppose when a team has only 2 wins away from home the entire season, there is reason to be skeptical. But against Pitt? Pitt has 4 wins outside the Pete, but only one in conference — against BC. Someone has to win.

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March 4, 2017

UPDATE (11:58): Worth tossing to the top. Starting lineup will exclude Artis and Young. Milligan and Luther starting in their place.

12 pm, ACC Network Syndication or ACCN Extra/Watch ESPN.

Last regular season game and then an opening round game in Brooklyn for the ACC Tournament. Sadly, with the effort and outcomes in prior games, it is hard to believe Pitt will make any noise at the ACC Tournament.

Pitt goes into Charlottesville looking to lock down that 13th seed and meeting Clemson in the opening game. A loss would put them in a tie for 14th with NC State, and presumably because they lost in head to head against the Wolfpack drop them to the 14th seed. That would mean playing either Georgia Tech or Wake Forest.

I know, high drama.

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February 28, 2017

9pm, ESPNU.

As disappointing as ending up in the NIT is, there is one thing more embarrassing. Not even being able to qualify for it. To make the NIT, a team has to finish with a record at .500 or better. Pitt is poised not to make it, if they can’t win at least 2 games. With only 2 regular season games left and the ACC Tourney, the odds are getting longer.

Pitt is still looking for that second ACC road win (Boston College still counts). Georgia Tech is trying to clinch a first round bye in the ACC Tournament and possibly get into the ACC Tourney.

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February 25, 2017

Open Thread: UNC-Pitt, Senior Day

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:18 am

12 pm, ACC Network affiliates or ACC Digital Extra/WatchESPN.

Yeah, I have no idea.

It’s reasonable to expect a loss, but it is the final home game of the season. This team could rain down 3s and win big against an expected #1 seed for the NCAA Tourney. OR they could roll over 10 minutes in. And anywhere in between.

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February 22, 2017

Tossing this up a bit early. Will be a tight window to get home for the start of the game.

7pm, various RSNs (ROOT, YES, NESN, Multiple FOX Sports) and ACCN Extra/WatchESPN.

I was watching a some games last night — Clemson-VT and Indiana-Iowa, primarily — and it seemed like half the conversation between the announcers (and 100% when they went to the studios) was about how teams needed this win to get off or stay on the bubble. They were talking about 4-10 (now 4-11) Clemson  in the ACC and the now 5-10 in the B1G, Indiana.

I know that bubble talk is always a big driver of interest late in the season. Especially in games with middling to below-average programs. But it is making me a little crazy. I swear, when 6-20 Mizzou was playing their best game of the season against Kentucky (ultimately losing), the game calling crew started talking about how if the Tigers kept this up and made a deep run in the SEC Tournament…

STOP!

There is no basis in reality, but the talking point is all about the bubble. I know in the cases of Indiana (big non-con wins) and Clemson (great numbers in statistical analysis). But in the end these are not good teams. Indiana between injuries and horrid inconsistency. Clemson is just good enough to lose. Painfully, heartbreakingly (possibly Faustian in nature for college football, but I can’t be sure), but still losses. Over and over again.

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February 18, 2017

Sartorially speaking, I mean.

4pm, ESPN2.

It’s the retro game. Old colors to go with the Script. Sucks when that seems to be the best thing to say about this game.

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February 14, 2017

Open Thread: VT-Pitt, Spoiler?

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 1:04 pm

7pm, ESPN2.

After the euphoria of  VT’s 2OT victory over Virginia made them a virtual lock for the NCAA, reality set in. First with the loss of their wing guard and leading rebounder Chris Clarke with a torn left ACL. Then there is the fact that they still need to win games in no small part due to a non-con that compared worse than anything even Jamie Dixon did.

That said, the Hokies’ lone victories over top-50 RPI opponents are Duke and Virginia, both at home. Most problematic, as noted earlier this season, Virginia Tech’s non-conference schedule was the ACC’s tamest, and at No. 308 on Monday’s RPI was ahead of only No. 326 Rutgers among Power Five teams.

As Hokies faithful know all too well from the latter stages of Seth Greenberg’s coaching tenure, those are numbers that can cost you a bid.

Tech’s games prior to the ACC tournament are at Pitt on Tuesday and at Louisville on Saturday, followed by Clemson at home, Boston College on the road, and Miami and Wake Forest at home — the Hokies are 12-1 at Cassell Coliseum, stumbling only against NCAA-bound Notre Dame.

It’s never a good sign when you are being compared to Rutgers in… anything.

They do have a road win over Michigan, so there is that. But, yeah. They need to hold serve at home and either beat Pitt and BC or just win one and and a ACC Tournament game to clinch it.

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February 11, 2017

1pm, ACC Network syndication (ugh) or ACC Digital Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Hard to find this one on regular TV across the country. Clemson-Duke is on the ACCN syndication at the same time. Guess which game most stations outside of Pennsylvania and New York seem to be favoring?

Last time against the Orange, Pitt looked like it had never seen a zone defense before. Settling for nothing but outside shots and not able to work the ball inside at all. On top of that, they still couldn’t rebound. And that was just in the first half.

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February 8, 2017

7pm on RSNs (ROOT, NESN, various FOX Sports) or ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

In the last week, Pitt hasn’t looked… horrible.

It’s damning with faint praise when the media notes tries to spin positive road losses at UNC and Duke by a combined 10 points, but when you are harnessed to an 8-game losing streak and yet to win on the road in the ACC, you take what you can get.

The thing with a good, bad team like Pitt is this year. You don’t know anything about the team from game-to-game. Effort, energy, streakiness… It’s all a question mark. Did they play up to their opponents in the last week? Will they have a complete letdown in effort against a team like BC?

I have no idea. I’m guessing the coaches don’t either.

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February 4, 2017

Open Thread: Pitt-Duke, K Returns

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:45 am

1pm, CBS.

The good news, Bill Raftery will be doing the color commentary.

That’s about it for the good news.

Duke is at home. They get an extra emotional lift with their coach, Mike Krzyzewski, returning to the bench after taking a month off for back surgery. Which means additional slobbering over Krzyzewski by — well — everyone on or associated with the broadcast. And you can bet they have had it drilled into them all week what happened last year at the Pete.

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January 31, 2017

7 pm ESPN2  if you dare.

Had to work overnight the last two nights. The kids are stir crazy with two straight snow days bumpin g out the weekend. It’s been like an extended Sunday afternoon evening for them with that expectation of going back to school the next day. Each day. Wife has been home sick. And somehow thinking about Pitt basketball is the thing bringing me down.

Even the game notes seem depressing. I mean, when the game notes can’t spin positive…

So, yeah. I’m going to watch. I can’t help myself. It’s too late for me. Save yourselves. Do something else tonight. Use the open thread to talk about signing day for football or something.

January 24, 2017

7pm, ESPNU.

Welp, this should be… something.

After Jamel Artis put the team on his back and nearly dragged them to an improbable comeback two weeks ago, you can bet Louisville Coach Rick Pitino has his team zeroed in on making sure Artis is defended at all times. Very likely with some double-teams and trying to trap as much as possible.

In theory, this should open things up for other Pitt players on the court to have opportunities with open looks and open drives to the basket. Whether that translates to points is anyone’s guess.

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January 17, 2017

7pm, ESPNU

I’ve had to do some work overnight for the past two nights. As such, sleep has been completely disrupted. I spent 10 minutes staring blankly at my computer before realizing I hadn’t turned it on.

So, I’ll keep this brief and possibly coherent.

Both Pitt and NC State are 1-4 in ACC play.

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January 14, 2017

Open Thread: Miami-Pitt, Must Win

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 10:35 am

12 pm, RSN (ROOT, various FOX, etc.) and ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

Miami is somewhere in the mushy-middle of the ACC with Pitt (yes, I still think of Pitt as a middle-of-the-pack ACC team, but consider that middle of the pack in the ACC likely encompasses roughly 6-13). As such, this is a game Pitt can win.

Should win? Arguably.

Must win? Absolutely.

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