Pitt Basketball Outlook
Review of season, college basketball, Pittsburgh sports, basketbal.
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I think we can clearly say that the Big East is by far the best conference in college basketball. So I pose the question then, are the Pitt Panthers the best team in college basketball. One of the best rebounding and passing teams in the country, who play extremely tough half court man to man defense. I look at the public persona of college basketball and they want to love the Dukes and Kansas’ of this world only because they have the star power. However Pitt brings a grit and blue collared, hard nose mentality to the game. When you enter the gym playing the Panthers you are entering a dog fight, a physical game demanding toughness. But time and time again this style of basketball is overlooked. Why does everybody love the high flyers, super stars, and scorers? Whatever happened to winning the game by any means possible? What team could go into the Pavilion, one of the toughest places to play in all of college sports with their best player out and win? Well Pitt has accomplished this feat and many more. How does this resume sound, wins over Texas, UConn, Georgetown, Syracuse, WVU and Villanova. These victories speak for themselves. I know Pitt has lost two games this year, but let’s remember how they happened. Notre Dame ran the burn offense all game to perfection and sneaked by the Panthers. I will admit it was great coaching by Mike Brey, but again you do lose games to ranked teams in the top ten every once and a while. Now the other loss, I will also agree was a bad loss to a very inconsistent Tennessee team. Although Tennessee was playing much better basketball at the time and did shoot the lights out. Also remember they were ranked #13 when playing the Panthers. But here is my point, since that Dec 11th loss against Tennessee, Pitt is 13 and 1 with five victories over ranked teams. I will add that most of these ranked teams were top 10 as well. Now I look at what Pitt has been able to accomplish this season and I think it is worthy of high praise. Pitt does not have a super star, they go 10 to 11 deep and every player knows his role on the team. When you watch several Pitt games you will see a different player step up each game. This is team full of experience and basketball toughness. I do expect this Panther team in the final four this year and for Jamie Dixon to quiet some of the critics who say he can’t win the big game.