Win off the glass

This win is very nice. Pitt defeated the Saint John’s Red Storm 71-64 in NYC today. This win puts them at 3rd in the BE standings and an 11-5 conference record. Pitt led by right at the half and never looked back. D.J Kennedy and the Red Storm fought hard but couldn’t beat the Panthers at home.

What does this win mean?

  • Pitt is 2 games away from a double bye in the BE Tourny
  • They are 11-5 in BE play
  • They have two games they should win

Pitt will finish the season at home with two games. One against Providence and the other home against Rutgers to end the season. If Pitt wins out they will be at least 4th in the Big East and receive a much coveted double bye. That will make them at least a 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

This was a rebound win they needed and they got it. GO PITT!

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Rebound needed

After Pitt’s lose to ND on Wednesday night they need to come out with a lot of intensity against St. John’s. They will be hosted by the Red Storm at noon tomorrow. They already beat these guys once and can win again the same way they won the last time: DEFENSE.

They limited their offensive chances and were strong on the boards all night. Aston Gibbs has been sensational all season and can’t slow down now. Pitt looked sluggish in their last game and that is why they lost.

Keys to Victry:

  • Contain D.J Kennedy
  • Play great defense
  • Come out with intensity

This is Pitt’s final road game of the year and they need to win it. The Red Storm are a tough team and Pitt will lose this gamif they play like they did vs. ND.

My prediction is Pitt 76, Saint John’s 69

Lose in Irish country

When your leading scorer had 13 points, something is wrong. Pitt’s 5 game win streak has been snapped at the hands of the ND Fighting Irish. ND led most of the game and Pitt could not pull close and lost by 15.

Pitt was the hottest team in the land until this setback. They are now 4th in the BE standings and will slip out of the double bye zone with another loss. Their next 3 games are all very winnable with St. John’s, Rutgers, and Providence.

What does this loss mean:

  • Pitt is 4th in the BE with a 10-5 record
  • They are heading into the home stretch with 3 semi-tough games
  • They need to win out

If Pitt can recover and win out they will be in good shape heading into the NCAA Tourny.

Battle in South Bend

Pitt will travel to Indiana to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish tomorrow night. They will have to contain star forward Luke Harangody and the 17-10 Irish. They are coming off a 2OT loss to Louisville and are probably not very fuzzy over it. Pitt on the hand is on a five game win streak and is a force heading into March.

This game is very important just like the rest of the season. If Pitt can win out they may be in position to finish 1st in the Big East in the regular season. That’s a big if but it could happen.

What does this game mean?

  • Pitt is closing in on a six game win streak
  • ND is on a downhill slide
  • Pitt is 3rd in the conference and could move up with some help

This will be a tough game. Both teams need wins but Notre Dame is in desperate need. Their NCAA Tourny chances are very dim. Pitt has a good chance of winning this game but it wont be easy.

Big win vs. Nova

Wow Pitt is back at #12 and is now third in the Big East standings. With the win against Nova and Uconn’s win vs WVU, Pitt sits safely at third place something thought to be unlikely at the beginning of the season. They were picked to finish 9th in the BE this year. That will not not happen now. This was a springboard going into South Bend tomorrow night.

What does this mean?

  • Pitt is now #12 in the AP/#16 in the Coaches
  • They are on a 5 game win streak
  • They are 3rd in the BE and 2 games out of first
  • They are now a lock for the NCAA Tourny

Things are looking up Pitt at this point of the year, can they keep it up? Time will tell.

Pitt hosts Big East bullies

When Villanova shows up in Oakland tomorrow the place will be rocking. Pitt is coming into the game hot, while Nova is coming off their second loss of the season against Uconn. Villanova is by far one of the best teams in the country and their ranking reflects that(#3). The last time these two teams met was in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Pitt lost that game on a last second Scottie Reynolds drive and layup.

Scottie is back again and is the Wildcats leading scorer. Nova is a guard heavy team. Pitt can exploit this if they get the ball in the post early and often. Villanova has some defensive issues, giving up 73 points per game. Pitt needs to jump out on top and control the game tempo early.

Keys to victory:

  • Contain Scottie Reynolds
  • Hold them to under 65 points
  • Score in the post

If Pitt does these three things along with limited TO’s they should be able to be very competitive and maybe come out with a win. If Pitt comes out the way they did vs. Marquette they will not be so lucky and not get the W. All in all Pitt can win with the help of their post and their bench play. Go Pitt.

Big win in Milwaukee

Hey, they proved me wrong. Pitt won this game with good defense and good rebounding. Despite leading scorer Ashton Gibbs only having 2 points Pitt only gave up 51, which is ten points below their season average. Center Gary McGhee was the first Pitt player in double figures and finished the game with 10 points.

At first Pitt was playing poor defense and not boxing out at all, but change came swiftly and the scoreboard went in their favor fast.

Pitts Travon Woodall had some strong takes in the victory

So what does this mean?

  • Pitt now has 20 wins
  • They sit 4th in the Big East
  • They are on a 4 game win streak
  • Their NCAA tourny bid is almost a lock

Many good things came from this win. The most important thing though is their position in the Big East standings. They won’t finish in the top two, but can finish 3rd or 4th, giving them two byes in the BE tourny. I think they’ll finish 4th right ahead of Louisville and Georgetown.

If Pitt keeps playing like this they will be a serious threat to anyone in March.