Wow. Just wow. I wrote a post a while ago about the top 10 games in the Pete (you can read it here). Well, we have a new #1 by a landslide. That was one of the best college basketball games I’ve watched, on TV or in person. As usual, some thoughts:
- Rebounding should have cost the Panthers the game. It was pretty tight statistically, but Pitt was getting killed on the glass. At the end of regulation, WVU had a 14 rebound advantage, and that’s after Pitt had grabbed a few towards the end. In the overtimes, Pitt out-rebounded WVU by 7. You bet that’s why they were in control most of the way.
- WVU missed 3 of 5 free throws in the final minute of regulation which started with a 7 point Mountaineer edge. It was eerily similar to Louisville’s collapse.
- Speaking of that 7 point lead with a minute left, I saw a lot of people leaving at that point. I noticed a lot of those seats re-filled during the overtime (I guess they caught the game in the lobby and turned back), but there were still some empty chairs left. They deserve it. I’ve never gotten leaving early, and I hope this teaches them a lesson. Oh, well. It’s one more thing to add to the legend of this game. You have to love when a team is counted out by their own fans, then proceed to resurrect themselves like Lazarus.
- All those rebounds? They led to a 15-0 second chance points lead by the Mountaineers at the end of regulation. More proof that Pitt got away with one here.
- Huge bench night for Pitt. The Panthers got 34 points from the reserves. Travon Woodall looked good. Gil Brown had a lot of those points even though he’s a de-facto starter. J.J. Richardson had another solid game.
- Speaking of J.J., he definitely out-played Dante Taylor again. Big time. Dante’s an amazing athlete, but he just doesn’t have the hunger to play the low post (and before you say anything, I’m not sure he’s quick enough to play PF in the Big East, either). He just needs to get stronger in the off-season.
- I’ll expand on Travon, as well. He had a great game at the point. 12 points, 6 assists, and 0 turnovers in 31 minutes. That sure looks more like a PG line to me. If he can do that consistently, Pitt will be in great shape. But consistency is the key.
- Good job by the Zoo. I heard a few rumblings of a bulls**t cheer, but that never caught on. Besides that, there was only a few go home mountaineers chants (some kids switched the last word around to involve a word that starts with q, but they were also drowned out by the kids saying it the better way). I can live with that. Overall the kids were loud, intimidating, and positive. I’m proud to have them representing my school. I’d like to think that the jerk who threw stuff in Morgantown is very unhappy somewhere tonight. It’s a good thought.
- Ashton Gibbs missed a free throw to ice the game at the end of the first overtime, but got redemption by draining two in the third to make WVU try for a 3. You’ve gatta love that.
- Brad Wanamaker had a huge night going 7-14 from the field and 9-11 from the free throw line. He did have 4 turnovers and 3 minute stretch at the beginning of the second half with a bunch of mistakes, but I’ll take this performance any day. He was one of the few guys who wasn’t afraid to drive on this Mountaineer defense.
- WVU is a better team than Pitt this year, but Pitt had the desire down the stretch. I love that. I need to see it every game.
Great win. I’m all smiles tonight. Pitt parlayed the Syracuse upset into a few more quality wins. They’re going to have an opportunity to do the same thing coming up against Marquette, Villanova and Notre Dame. I’d love to see a repeat performance.