The Pitt Panthers are scheduled to begin their 2009 NCAA Tournament today at 2:55. This is the Panthers 8th straight year in the NCAA Tournament, and being a #1 seed, this may be our best chance to go deep into the tournament. While watching the game, I did a live blog for Kotite’s Corner, and it is included below.
2:35 PM: Oklahoma State just beat Tennessee in a great game. This is the game before the Pitt game, so we’ve got about 30 minutes before the tip of Pitt vs. East Tennessee State.
2:56: I’m way too nervous for rooting for a #1 see against a 16 seed.
3:06: And the game is under way, Pitt wins the tip, Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery calling the game.
3:08: ETSU going full court press to start the game, 5-3 ETSU as they drain a 3 from half court.
3:12: First timeout on the floor, 11-7 Pitt, Young, Fields, and Blair all on the board for us, which is a good sign.
3:17: 4th turnover for Pitt already, bad sign.
3:21: How can you not dance when these Geico commercials come on? 17-15 Pitt.
3:26: Ashton Gibbs off the bench draining a 3. We sat next to Gibbs’ mom at an earlier Pitt game this season, nice lady.
3:29: Apparently Jaime Dixon never taught his team how to beat a press. He’s only had all season, 20-19 Pitt, 7:31 left in the first half. Pitt seems close to making a run, let’s see if we can do that at the end of the 1st half.
3:35: Pitt with 8 turnovers already, to ETSU’s 1, 20-20 game.
3:38: 10 Pitt turnovers, this is getting ridiculous, really sloppy game. We really should be losing right now, and if we keep playing like this, we will be the 1st #1 seed to lose to a 16 seed. And I will be depressed.
3:39: DeJuan Blair gets a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Bad call, his feet weren’t under him, he could have gotten hurt if he let go earlier. ETSU just made both free throws, 24-22 Pitt.
3:43: Bill Raftery is the best color announcer in college basketball, and it’s not even close. And I’m not just saying that cause I’ve met him before. He should team up with Gus Johnson to make an all-star announcing lineup. Can’t we get Raftery to start doing color for CBS football games?
3:45: Another turnover due to the press…. sloppy.
3:50: I’m watching the most pathetic game of the tournament so far. With 1:20 left in the first half, the score is 24-23 Pitt. I wish I had some great highlights to talk about, but I think Pitt had 4 points in the past 10 minutes.
3:56: Halftime - 26-23 Pitt. We have 13 turnovers, and 10 made field goals. DeJuan Blair is the only Panther who came to play, he already has 11 points, 10 rebounds at halftime. Levance Fields leads the nation in assist-turnover ratio, and has already turned the ball over numerous times. Sam Young apparently didn’t even show up to the court today. ETSU should be winning and would be if they could make a 3-pointer. Pathetic.
4:12: Dixon better get this team ready for the 2nd half, we need to get our shit together.
4:21: Same story for Pitt, 2 missed layups in a row, 30-29 Pitt, this one may come down to the wire.
4:23: Sam Young drains a 3, thanks for showing up Sam. 33-29 Pitt, let’s go boys.
4:25: These Degree commercials are stupid with the guy on the grocery cart flying through traffic. Give me a break.
4:26: The Philadelphia Eagles signed Seahawks fullback Leonard Weaver. Just saw that, figured I’d pass that along.
4:29: DeJuan Blair tries a reverse layup when he could have dunked, Fields gets rejected on a breakaway, then Pitt allows an ETSU player to get his own miss, and putback. Turnover Pitt, 15th of the game. 35-33 Pitt, ETSU ball.
4:33: Another offensive board for ETSU. 37-37, 14 minutes left. At some point I would think we would be able to put these guys away.
4:35: Levance Fields need to get involved in this game, he is flat out playing horribly.
4:39: DeJuan Blair for 2, hes got 20 points and is carrying Pitt right now, 44-40 Pitt.
4:40: Arizona State beats Temple.
4:43: 15th turnover for Pitt, except every team to press Pitt from here on out.
4:47: Pretty pathetic that I am happy that Pitt is up 4 points right now.
4:52: 50-45 Pitt, currently sitting at 16 turnovers. DeJuan Blair is carrying this team right now. Please stay in school DeJuan.
4:53: Back to back 3’s, 53-48 Pitt, under 8 timeout. I’m nervous as hell.
4:57: I was about to take the Levance Fields jersey off and switch to the Oakland Zoo, but I have to stick with the jersey for the whole game.
5:01: We are completely rattled right now, it’s like we are in completely over our heads right now. We have no idea what to do. ETSU gets a 4-point possession, 61-57 Pitt. I’ve seen this Pitt team lose games before, but to be just throwing balls out of bounds on inbounds plays, like we have never seen the press, or a 1-3-1 zone before.
5:07: ETSU just got their 19th offensive rebound. Pitt is one of the best rebounding teams in the nation, and ETSU is owning them on the offensive boards.
5:08: I’m shitting my pants right now.
5:10: Gibbs drains a huge 3, but Pitt doesn’t defend on the other end, and gives up an easy layup. Pitt up 67-61 with 1:05 remaining.
5:15: Pitt up 10 with 30 seconds to play. First double digit lead of the entire game for either team.
Final: 72-62 Pitt Panthers
Overall, an unbelievably sloppy game, in which we could never put ETSU away. #1 seeds are now 99-0 against #16 seeds. Pitt advances to take on Oklahoma State on Sunday. DeJuan Blair ends the game with 27 points and 16 boards to lead Pittsburgh.