Blog Entry

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

Posted on: February 24, 2009 10:28 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2009 12:45 am

Well that didn't last long.

Roughly 30 hours after Pittsburgh ascended to No. 1 in the national polls, the Panthers fell on their face Tuesday night, losing 81-73 at Providence. Put another way, the team that started Tuesday with what was clearly the country's best body of work ended Tuesday with a loss to a team (Providence) that opened the season with a loss to Northeastern and entered this week with a 4-11 record against schools in the Top 100 of the RPI (and only one victory against the Top 50).


Some of this is just basketball, of course, more specifically what tends to happen to teams from power leagues regardless of their previous or future achievements. Remember, it was two years ago this week when Florida (i.e., the eventual 2007 national champion) lost three of four outings to Vanderbilt, LSU and Tennessee, and a year ago this week when Kansas (i.e., the eventual 2008 national champion) lost to Oklahoma State. Those inexplicable developments obviously didn't impact the big picture for Billy Donovan or Bill Self, and that's something in which Jamie Dixon can take solace. But this is still a rough defeat for the Panthers because it gives them a third Big East loss and pushes them from first to fourth in the league standings, and when you're enjoying an unprecedented amount of attention like Pittsburgh spent last week enjoying it's a downer to watch it all go away so quickly and without warning.

That said, it's just one game.

Just one loss.

And the reality is that the Panthers -- with a national-best six victories against the Top 25 of the RPI -- are still in solid shape to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. That's the good news. But their margin for error has become smaller because of this awful performance Tuesday night, and now Connecticut, North Carolina, Memphis and perhaps even Louisville or Marquette  -- honestly, who knows? -- are in position to possibly become the seventh new No. 1 when the polls are updated next week, although it's getting to the point where it's difficult to find anybody who seems worthy of the honor.




Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 12, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2009 1:13 pm

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

Yes, PC lost to Northeastern to open the season. However, in their defense it was their first real game with the new coach and its a vastly different style of play then they had under Tim Welch. Providence's talent is much better then their record. They are a soft team that struggles to play defense most nights. Last night showed what this team can do when they play a little D

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 12:54 pm

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East


PaperClip has said basically the same thing. I think his actual comment was something like: "It isn't a bad thing to be a big fish in a small pond"

It has worked for him and Memphis. IMO it does make it difficult to figure out how good they are... and gives people a somewhat reasonable argument, either for or against...

A comparison to the "Memphis Strategy" for this year would be Kansas (that's an irony in itself). KU has a young team and their early season schedule was pretty soft and the conference did them a favor and back-loaded the schedule, putting the toughest opponents at the end of the year. This has given a young KU team time to mature (I think that it's pretty funny to think that freshmen actually "mature" during their freshman year) anyway, KU's team bobbled a few games early, but improved enough that now I think they are a pretty good team (At least for a freshmen-dominated team) and a confident one too. I think that Memphis players believe they can win because they do win their conference games. Confidence is very important in sports and that and effort are the next two most important factors behind only talent, and about on the same level as coaching, IMO, as determinants as to who wins...

And I think most of us just like to argue, sometimes for arguments sake if for nothing else and PaperClip is such a slick salesman that it is easy for some to like him and others to dislike.

Why do some guys prefer blondes or women with the hour-glass figures (If they do?). Why can't some women seem to get past a guys muscles? Somethings just ARE.....


Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 12:14 pm

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

Here's a thought: while RPI might be important for tournament seeding, and "toughness" may be a good criterion for electronic board arguments, maybe--just maybe--a weak conference is a blessing.  Memphis will still play a close game here or there, a "quality opponent" once in a while, but they won't be worn down like Pitt, UConn, UNC, or some of the others.  Perhaps they're just smarter than all of the rest of us.

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2009 12:12 pm

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

It's interesting seeing the anti-Memphis argument change tacts.  For the past few years it was mostly "they don't play in a tough conference, so they're not battle-tested enough to make it far."  That didn't prove true, so now it's "playing in a weak conference gives them an advantage with an unfairly high seed."  I won't argue that getting a higher seed makes it easier.  I will argue that the tourney committee would give a high seed to someone that doesn't deserve it.  Why do people think they have a blind spot when it comes to Memphis?

That being said, I don't think the Tigers deserve a #1. I can be objective.


Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2009 12:06 pm

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

Yeah because we always lose in the 2nd round (3 years= 2 Elite 8's and a Final Four).

Since: Mar 6, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2009 12:05 pm

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

All I've got to say is, thank goodness there's no BCS in college hoops.  I personally think Pitt, UConn, and UNC are a cut above everybody else, but in a couple of weeks, we won't be arguing about who the best team was anymore.  Things will be settled where they should be--on the court.

Since: Feb 24, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2009 12:00 pm

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

It ashame they loss. I don't see them winning it all this year , i was hoping this was the year because its my sons last year at Pitt and would have been nice to see. They are to in consistant in there play, if they are not close at half time then its all over. They are not a come from behind team, they panic. I really don't see them getting by the sweet 16 AGAIN, to many good teams out there. L'ville will win the Big East. Bummer Frown

Since: Feb 16, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2009 11:59 am

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

Hattie947- Have you actually been watching any games the last few years?  Yeah, Louisville is really "There" every year.  In 2006, they made it to the final four... of the NIT.  In '07, they got beat in a virtual home game in the 2nd round of the tourney (to a Texas A&M team that Memphis promptly disposed of in Texas in the next round).  And in '08, they made a nice run all the way to the Elite 8.

Memphis, meanwhile, went to the real Elite 8 while you were fighting it out in the NIT in 06.  Memphis made it to the Elite 8 again in '07 after you bowed out early.  And in '08, we all know that Memphis destroyed Michigan St., Texas, and UCLA on their way to the championship game.  So I guess it's just a matter of perspective.  What a Louisville fan thinks  of as being "There" every year is a little different than how Memphis fans see it.



Since: Feb 22, 2007
Posted on: February 25, 2009 11:44 am

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

I watched Uconn completely crush and embarass "the Ville" on February 2nd on their home turf.  Every team is vulnerable. Even your beloved Louisville Cardinals.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 11:43 am

From No. 1 in the nation to No. 4 in the Big East

QUEST....My point was that Louisville on their best games Can NOT be beaten... Yes--They have some losses  & play in a league where every night you play a Ranked team OR a Team fired up to make the big east top tier tourney or the ncaa tourney.. & Each game can be a battle... Yep- you're right --we lost to the #1 team in country Uconn & a very desperate ND team With a hurt T-Will .. & yes -- lost to UNC in NCAA elite 8 game AT NC (4 pts down with 2 minutes left) at their place & when they were supposedly unbeatable... That was Last year !!.. We are not fighting off UAB, Tulane,Tulsa , Ignatius HS & the like get a Great record & high Ncaa seed to cruise past a few HS's to get to top 8 before playing "real" teams & a puffed NCAA

  Coach Pitino will NEVER say UL is the best...Hes got class & not stupid...(Best coach out there)... Doesn't get 5=6 McD's All-americans like UNC or the Play ground tough one & done guys Like Memphis ..   Actually throws those guys off team ie. Character... Just looks for ATHELETES & makes them play HIS system... Tireless "D" & Good shooting & DEPTH...  Again-- It ain't Hard--Just watch the games ...This is why they're "There" every year --Not because they play patsies each year TO GET THERE...  Get it yet ????

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