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Pitt, Marquette game pick

I’m going to get all the negative thoughts out now. Marquette is on a hot streak and nobody wants to play them right now. They have won five games in a row and they’re looking for more. Pitt sits at 19-6 and 8-4 in the Big East. One more win is number 20 and that would seal the deal for a NCAA Tournament appearence.

Right now Pitt is projected as a 5 or 6 seed, but with a win on the road at a hot Marquette team and a win against Villanova coming up may get them in as a 3 seed.

Now for the game pick, Pitt is coming off the huge win in the Backyard Brawl, but I can see them slacking in this game for some reason. They will play sloppy defense but make it close and come short in the end.

Pitt 64, Marquette 71

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Pitt faces Marquette in Big East game

The Pittsburgh Panthers, fresh off their triple OT win against WVU, will travel to face the Marquette Golden Eagles on Thursday night. The Eagles are on a 5 game win streak and are very hot heading into March. I think Pitt will have their hands full in this game. Pitt is currently 4th in the BE standings and would have two byes in the Big East Tourny if the season ended today.

Pitt needs to win the game vs. the Eagles, but more importantly this one due to it being on the road. They will have to contain Lazar Hayward in order to due so. The forward averages over 18 points a game and could put up big numbers on Pitt’s big men. I think a high dose of freshman J.J Richardson will do the trick.

Keys to win:

  •  Contain their big men
  • Play good transition defense
  • Score many points in the paint

With these things said Pitt can win and get win number 20 on the season, and that would be a big deal. My pick comes tomorrow. Go Pitt.

Pitt wins thriller in 3OT

Shades of Syracuse and Uconn. This game had it all. When you go into three overtimes you know it’s something special. WVU missed some key free throws at the end of regulation and were unable to close out the game and they lost 98-95. Ashton Gibbs made six three pointers and some clutch ones at that.

In regulation Pitt was unable to rebound and WVU was getting offensive boards all night long. At the end of regulation Pitt tied it up when Wannamaker had a great steal and passed it around to Gibbs and he hit the 3. The place exploded and we were in OT. In the first OT Pitt jumped out to a 5 point lead but let WVU tie it up with a last second three to send it to another 5 minutes of play. In the second OT I jumped out of my seat when Woodall seemingly hit the game winning shot. It too late though and a 3rd overtime was played. Brad Wannamaker was fouled out at this point which led to Nasir Robinson being brought in. He played huge and hit a key putback to give Pitt the lead. WVU tried a buzzer beater but it would not go. Pitt had won Round 2.

Pitt won this game down the stretch due to their strong bench play. They outscored WVU’s bench 34-7.

So what does this mean?

  • Pitt has two wins against top 5 teams
  • They will stay in the top 25
  • They have 19 wins and should get 20
  • They are now tied for 3rd in the Big East(top 4 teams get 2 byes in the BE Tourny)

Overall a great win and Marquette comes Thursday. Go Pitt.

Ashton Gibbs had 6 threes in the win

Backyard Brawl: Round 2

In round one WVU gave a knockout blow to the Panthers in their 19 point win only 6 days ago. That game was in Morgantown and this one comes back to the Burgh on Friday night. In the loss to WVU Pitt let Da’Sean Butler score too easily and did not defend the perimeter very well. This is the main reason why they lost.

I’m looking to see whether or not Pitt is ready to run with the Mountaineers. It is a game they can win for sure, but the question is which Pitt will show up. Will it be the Pitt that blew out Seton Hall, or will it be the Pitt that lost to USF. Time will tell.

Keys to victory:

  • Contain Da’Sean Butler
  • Get good looks in the paint
  • Get them in foul trouble early

Those three things will win or lose the game for Pitt. Along with the givens like Gibbs knocking down some threes. Overall it will be a tough conference game, but aren’t they all? Win and Pitt will stay ranked and will be on a roll going into March, lose and things don’t as nice. Either way Go Pitt.

Blowout win in Oakland

The score says it all. Pitt dominated their mid-major foes and won by a score of 77-53. They outscored RMU by 18 in the second half en route to the win. Ashton Gibbs had 20 points and 4 threes and was looking great from behind the arc.

I guess it was good that I was confident in my pick. In the beginning of the game Pitt looked a little too easy going, but they quickly put an end to that and got back on track. They led by six at the half and never looked back. Jermaine Dixon also had a good day with 18 points.

I give RMU a lot of credit though. They played their hearts out and really made it a game early. Pitt needs to keep this streak up and bring their best game on Friday in the Backyard Brawl.

Pitt is now 18-6 and it is looking like the NCAA Tourny is in their future. Keep it up Panthers and GO PITT.

Pitt plays in final non-conference game

The Robert Morris Colonials won’t have to travel far to play the Pitt Panthers tonight in the Petersen Events Center. This is Pitt’s final non-conference game of the year. They are coming off of a beat down of Seton Hall on Saturday and are looking for win number 18 on the season.

Former Pitt assistant Mike Rice is the coach of RMU and is looking to be the first coach of that team to beat the Panthers. Pitt is 10-2 in out of conference play this season and 67-0 against teams in the Colonials conference.

If Pitt can keep up what they unleashed of Saturday, this game won’t even be close. If not then it could be a ball game. I think we’ll see Saturday’s Pitt and a W to follow. Tip-off is at 8 and will be regionally covered by FSN Pittsburgh. Since the games tonight my pick comes now. I’m feeling pretty confident today and I’m going to say: Pitt 75, RMU 60

Dixon’s great D leads Pitt to win

Finally, Pitt blows someone out. This was a dominate showing, top to bottom. The Pirates led by 4 for a brief time in the first half, but Pitt led by 7 at the end of the period. After that it was dominance. Gilbert Brown scored 23 points off the bench en route to Pitt’s 83-58 thrashing of Seton Hall. Jermaine Dixon shut down Jeremy Hazell staying with stride for stride all game.

This is the win they needed, this is the win I’ve been waiting for. After losing 4 out of 5, I was waiting for something that would show me that Pitt was still a contender. Well I think they are. They now are 17-6 overall, with a 7-4 conference mark, which puts them 2 1/2 games behind Big East leader Syracuse. This win may just keep them in the top 25 for another week as well. Pitt needs to continue this play into Monday when they face RMU. This could be a trap game with the big rematch against West Virginia coming up.

Gilbert Brown scored 23 off the bench

This would be a good stretch of wins if Pitt can keep it together and win the non-conference game on Monday. Every win matters at this point of the season and this one matters more than people may think. RMU comes Monday the WVU, game picks and previews for both coming soon. Hail to Pitt.