Big Lead Sports Bar

2/09/2009

THE BEAT GOES ON



Pitt, the nation's newest #4 team in the polls, continued their dominant ways with a 70-59 win over West Virginia in front of a raucous crowd at the Pete that included Dan Rooney and Jeff Reed, who apparently goes to every athletic contest held within the city limits. The win runs Pitt's record to an impressive 22-2, and that's six out of the last seven against the Mountaineers.

The Mountaineers had some foul trouble, eventually losing Alex Ruoff and Da'Sean Butler, but I have little sympathy in that department after the trials and tribulations of Dejuan Blair this season (who incidentally picked up four, including a technical, in this contest). Digger Phelps felt in his postgame analysis that the refs called the game too tight, but both teams dealt with the same officials. Pitt was simply the better squad on this evening, showing some suffocating defense while outrebounding WVU by a 34-22 count.

Sam Young led the Panthers with 20 points and seven boards, while Levance Fields contributed 13 points and seven assists. Blair, the only member of the Panthers that rode on a Steeler parade float, added eight points and nine rebounds. Ruoff topped Team Huggins with 17 points.

Pitt next faces Huggins' old employer, Cincinnati, (6-5, 16-8) on Saturday, then it's the Game of the Year (to this point) against #1 UConn on ESPN's Big Monday next week. I could hear the announcers drooling over that one, and for good measure; Pitt-UConn is as good as it gets in college hoops. I'll take that over Duke-Carolina any day.

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4 comments:

Adam said...

Dear Pitt Grads/students/prospective students.

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/09040/947856-298.stm

In short, Governor Rendell is about to pay for room and board for every student in the State System, but will exclude students at Pitt and Penn St.

As fun as it might be to sit here and argue about which school is better academically or athletically, the truth is, students at Pitt and Penn State, the two finest public institutions in the Commonwealth, are about to get the screws put to them big time. They're about to pay about $80,000 more on average for their educations. This is a travesty. Its time for students and alumni of both schools to unite. Please contact your state representation and urge them to defeat this measure.

On a lighter note, I think its a bit of a stretch to say Pitt-UCONN is a bigger rivalry than Carolina-Duke. Rivalries are as much about tradition as they are about level of competition. Penn State-Ohio State has meant far more in the way of determining the Big 10 champion in the last four years than Ohio State-Michigan has, but theres too much history for a newer rivalry to replace an old one liked that stitched into the fabric of the sport itself.

Congrats on the win. I'm not sold on the Panthers yet, but if they pull it out Monday, they'll be on their way. Just hope they don't choke it all away in March again.

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

I wish I had an hour to go point by point and fully describe how worthless you are. Maybe later, although I'm sure someone will beat me to the punch.

BurressWithButterflyWings said...

Adam,

I really am so ecstatic to hear your expert and unbiased analysis of the Pitt Panther basketball program. You truly are an omniscient force in the sports world. Your ability to relay your undying love for all things Nittany along with your refusal to respect Pitt are really a measure of the diversity of your expertise.

Do you ever post on here about anything other than Penn State?

I also love your dedication to trying to convince people in a blog post that Penn State does have a real rival in football smack in the heat of the basketball season!

Finally, I must display my utter shock that you are not sold on Pitt yet.I mean, they are a lousy 22-2, that is just pathetic. I can't believe us Pitt fans would want some respect for a team with a .916 winning %; that is just outrageous! I am quite certain that you and Doug Gottlieb will be happy together one day.

Adam said...

First of all, the goal of the post was not to convince a bunch of Pitt fans that Penn State has a football rival. I frankly could give a rats ass less what you think. The point was to put Pitt-UCONN in proper perspective. Pitt-UCONN has been a good match up for 7-8 years. 7-8 years does not a rivalry make, especially a rivalry as storied as Duke-Carolina. Maybe it's Don's personal preference to watch Pitt-UCONN, but that doesn't mean it is respected nationally like Duke-Carolina is.

As for my other statement, I hardly think it was biased. My biggest criticism is that they lack a killer instinct. The more Pitt games I watch, the more I feel like the opposition falls apart more so than the Panthers go out and win. Maybe that in itself is a credit to Pitt for keeping up the pressure on their opponents. If they can keep doing it all the way to the Final 4, then good for them, but I'm not going to crown them until they get there.