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 CBSSports.com RPI (and only one victory against the Top 50).

(Sigh)

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 CBSSports.com 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
Comments

Since: Feb 16, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2009 11:39 am
 

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

Memphis shouldn't be a #1 seed, but I wouldn't expect them to bow out early because of their conference.  People said that for 3 straight years and ended up eating crow.  If you have good players that play as hard as Memphis players do, then you always have a chance.

 

 




Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 11:34 am
 

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


I'm not even a Pitt fan but they got homered last night.  Horrible officials, three of the fouls on Blair were a joke.  Even a call against Providence on Sam Young late in the second on a fast break, ref was behind the play and made a call.  He was in no position to make that call but blew the whistle.  Refs ruined that game last night....




Since: Mar 23, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 11:14 am
 

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

I love the anti-Memphis stuff. It's the same nonsense. In the last three years, Memphis has made it to the Elite 8 twice and the championship game once. Clearly, the weak conference is not having an impact. If conference strength was an important factor, Pitt wouldn't keep losing in the second round every year. As for Calipari, he has had exactly 2 McDonald's All-Americans during this run (Evans is the third, but obviously this is his first year). In fact, Nova85, your boy Jay Wright has had more McDonald's All-Americans than Cal! Maybe if Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher can stop having an endless race to see who can get more shots up, Villanova can get to the Final Four too. That way losers like you can stop holding on to 1985.

By the way, I do NOT think this Memphis team should jump to number 1 in the polls at this point.

 




Since: Mar 23, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 10:53 am
 

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


Last three years for Memphis...Elite 8, Elite 8, Final Four. Yeah...C-USA is really leaving them unprepared for the tourny. If being in a tough conference was so important, why can't Pitt get out of the second round? As for Calipari, he must be a decent coach considering he's only had 2 McDonald's All Americans during this run (Evans is the third, but he is a freshman). In fact, your boy Jay Wright has had more McDonald's All Americans than Cal! He must be a cheater, too. Maybe if Corey Fisher and Scottie Reynolds stop racing each other to see who can get more shots up, Villanova can get back to the Final Four and losers like you can stop holding on to 1985.

 




Since: Oct 5, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2009 10:52 am
 

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


I agree that teams on the bubble are looking for that marquee win and are amped. I also think that as we approach March, theres just something in the air for March Madness. I also think the marquee teams start to have that mindset where they're lookin past the final few games to the conference and NCAA tourney. Pitt has Marquette and UCONN still, and probably were much more worried bout those two than at Providence and at Seton Hall.




Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 10:47 am
 

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

Whew, I couldn't believe what I saw, just like Parrish and the rest of you. thumb, you have the best explanation, along with the fact, it was senior night and the Friers played their best game of the season.




Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 10:42 am
 

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

Thanks to the wonderous madness that is the NCAA tournament, this is nothing more than an argument.  It's interesting
but meaningless.  Pitt's not "on the bubble;" and neither is Memphis.  If they're really as good as we think they are, either one of them, the seeds won't matter either.  Good teams win games when they're supposed to.

I still think that Pitt has a better body of work than most out there, but a loss to Providence is a bit harder to swallow than a loss to Boston College.  Or Arkansas, even.  Talent-wise, i don't think there's much of an argument that UNC still has the best team.  Whether or not they show up on a given night ...  odds are only slightly better than any other team.




Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: February 25, 2009 10:31 am
 

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


I agree that it is only one loss, but this is why pitt can't get out of the sweet 16 in the NCAA's year after year.

The game was called really tight by the refs.  Pitt can't adjust to non physical games and this game was a perfect example of this.  I'm not saying that this team won't go further this year, they are a great team.  But dixon and his boys need to make adjustments and need to understand that come ncaa tourney time, the games will be called tighter. 




Since: Feb 10, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2009 9:54 am
 

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


That is a really interesting argument,  I personally don't believe that the rankings matter much during the year anyway, but college basketball is loyal to the big name schools and big name coaches that it has. I love college basketball, but that is something that I dislike about the game.  The teams like N Carolina, Duke , UConn, and Louisville etc.  will always be in the top 10 regardless of record because of what the analysts call "potential".  I also think they do it because it adds to the "Cinderella" stories at the end of the year.  The media and coaches who vote on the polls are obviously biased week to week and year to year.  Thats why I really don't like watching ESPN college basketball analysts either because they are all ACC biased.  




Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2009 9:45 am
 

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

I apologize for the horrible quoting I'm doing.  It looks good when I preview it! 



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