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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 10, 2016

Noon on ESPN.

Yeah, not going to be able to get free from work for a second nooner. An extended lunch? Possibly.

The Tar Heels are up today. Never really great chances when you are hoping for the sleepwalking version to show up. A little slow to start after having to wait to play until today.

There’s nothing wrong in acknowledging that UNC is a very good team. One of the best in the country. A likely #2 or #1 seed by Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. They are also prone to forgetting that for large portions of a game.

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March 9, 2016

Noon on ESPN.

Think I manipulated my work schedule just so. Should get home in time or right after the opening tip. Hopslam in the fridge. Knob Creek Rye on the dining room table if it comes to that.

I’ve hit on Jamel Artis and his shooting being a big deal. We know he’s had big success against Cuse to lead the team to wins against them. Here’s the final thing courtesy of Chris Peak from PantherLair. When Artis shoots 40% or better, Pitt is 18-2. Sub-40%, 2-8. He and Mike Young are Pitt’s best players. If they don’t have — at a minimum — decent games, Pitt doesn’t win too often.

It really is that simple for most games. If your best players aren’t performing you are going to struggle. Maybe you have just that much talent to get by. Or the other team is really bad. But Pitt isn’t the former, and Syracuse isn’t the latter.

March 5, 2016

Open Thread: Pitt-GT

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 1:55 pm

2pm, with the syndicated ACC Network or ESPN3 (hooray, Cleveland coverage for me).

Sorry for the extreme last minute, but I just got home from some family related activities.

It’s not a must win (yet), but it takes the pressure off the ACC Tournament for Pitt to get the win now. In certain years, Pitt would be in trouble for the NCAA Tournament. This year, there are so many teams with worse situations than Pitt; that it isn’t nearly as bad as it can feel when you have watched just this team this year.

Mailing the open thread in at this point.

March 2, 2016

Open Thread: Pitt-VT

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 6:06 pm

7pm and the game is on ESPN3 only. Intellectually, I know that this is sort of coverage is more about ESPN taking full advantage of its contract with the ACC (for which, Pitt is well compensated)to keep pushing the digital content side of things. I mean, when you scroll through the volume of games on ESPN3, you realize that this hits all conferences. Still. Frickin’ ESPN3?

Okay, about this game.

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February 28, 2016

2pm CBS.

I’m on DVR delay. Ironically enough for “Blue and Gold Day.” No, not a Pitt thing. Cub Scouts. I’m looking forward to it. Really. Why would anyone think otherwise? Just because I’ve spent the better part of the last week begging trying to talk my wife into going without me? Nah. Just wanted her to spend some quality time with the boy without me getting in the way. Totally altruistic.

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February 24, 2016

Open Thread: ‘Ville-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 4:51 pm

8 pm on the accursed syndicated ACC network or ESPN3. I mean, who knew that the ACC’s syndication deals were actually worse — and by worse I mean poor ass distribution — than the former Big East?

Sorry, if I seem exceptionally bitter, but I was going to go out and watch this game with a fellow Pitt fan in the area until we realized that it wasn’t going to be aired in the Cleveland area. Then realizing family stuff will block the remaining chances to get together. Annoying as hell.

Moving on. Pitt is a home dog. They have not had a lot of success against Louisville over the years. I mean if you go with the “Pitt/Dixon has Syracuse’s number,” and then dismiss/diminish any wins from such; then surely you do the same with the losses to Louisville. Right?

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February 20, 2016

Open Thread: Pitt-Syracuse

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 1:35 pm

2pm (roughly) on ESPN2.

Syracuse has been playing better lately — at least until they ran into Louisville.

Hard to believe, but over the years Pitt is 6-2 at the Carrier Dome under Jamie Dixon, the same record as at the Pete.

This is not a make or break game for either team as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned. For either team it would be a solid win but not a killer loss — well, a little worse for Syracuse since it would be at home, but not by much.

But both teams need this game to try and get a little more confidence — and get a little more room to breathe in their chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Cuse finishes with 2 of their last 3 on the road. Syracuse ends their season at NCSt, at UNC and then FSU. Pitt gets — yes I left them out, Louisville, then  Duke, then at VT and at GT.

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February 16, 2016

Open Thread: Wake Forest-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 6:42 pm

Everything else about this day has been a bit half-assed and last-minute. Let’s complete things by doing the same with the open thread. Sorry, just a long, lousy day.

7pm game on ESPNU.

Not to put too much pressure on what should have been presumed to be a gimmee game, but if Pitt sleepwalks or blows this one, the season is done. There’s the NIT, but we saw last year how little they care about that.

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February 14, 2016

Open Thread: Pitt-UNC

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:58 am

1pm syndicated on the ACC Network and ESPN3.

We all know UNC is good. They were the preseason #1. But how good they are has remained an open question. There have been injuries, but they have also simply come unglued at times — even when they have won (beating BC by only 3?). Other times they look like they could blow through the field in March.

They could destroy Pitt by 20, or Pitt could come away with a win. Or somewhere in between. Even in Chapel Hill. I just don’t know. Odds aren’t good for a Pitt win, though, as UNC hasn’t lost at home this year. Even their shaky wins were on the road.

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February 9, 2016

Open Thread: Pitt-Miami

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 6:06 pm

It has been several years since Miami went out and made the great hire of Jim Larranaga. So even though they have been a good team for a few years, it still seems strange to think of them as a top-15 team (kind of like everyone else felt about Pitt 15 years ago).

This is a 7pm game on ESPNU.

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February 6, 2016

Open Thread: Virginia-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:27 am

12 pm start time. Syndicated on ACC Network or ESPN3

Bleeping hell. For whatever reason the local channel that carries ACC Network in Cleveland is going with BC-Louisville. Unbelievable.

Pitt is a home dog in this one. Virginia has had some bad games, but more often than not they have been nearly as good as expected.

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February 3, 2016

NLI Day 2016

Filed under: Football,Open Thread — Chas @ 6:59 am

It’s here. The year long sprint is reaching its end. Pitt looks to finish strong. Maybe a couple final flourishes with some announcements at 9:30 am and 3 pm. Finding out if Pitt has a last minute flip away *cough* Chase Pine *cough*. And hey, there’s cake.

When I asked [Gateway (Fla.) High School coach Marlin] Roberts about Gateway cornerback Henry Miller, who is committed to Pitt but considering Miami, Roberts said he expected him to sign with Pitt:

“If not, it’s going to be an awkward ceremony. I’ve already ordered blue and gold balloons and a blue and gold cake,” he said.

Awkward would be the right word.

Coach Pat Narduzzi will hold his press conference — where he can officially talk about the recruits at last — at 3pm.

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