Saturday, February 19, 2011

GTOPG: Pitt Loses; GTOG Didn't Go; But GTOG Watched

By Finesse

With an ominous tone, the announcers wondered how Pitt's loss to St. John's would affect Pitt's chances of getting a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.  I think their answer was "it doesn't help," which is obvious, but probably overstates the impact of this loss.  Losing on the road to St. John's by one point is not a bad loss.  It drops Pitt's Big East record to 12-2, which still leaves them with a 2-game lead over second place Notre Dame, and drops the overall record to 24-3.  Bottom line: a #1 seed is still completely within Pitt's reach and this loss probably won't do much to diminish those hopes.

What hurts Pitt's chances at a #1 seed more than this loss is Gary McGhee's inability to catch bounce passes.  Also an issue is Pitt's inability to stop the ball on last second full court drives by the opponent to win the game.  I believe that lesson was covered by Scottie Reynolds two years ago, but apparently Pitt wasn't paying enough attention.

But we shouldn't harp on the minor negatives just because of this loss.  The most impressive thing about Pitt is that they just seem to be a physically stronger and more mature team than their opponents (excluding the terrible rebounding job in the final minute).  Today does nothing to diminish that fact, nor should it curb any enthusiasm for what we hope will be an extended tournament run.

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