Tag:Pittsburgh
Posted on: February 21, 2011 2:49 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 3:12 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

Pittsburgh is fourth in the AP poll and sixth in the coaches poll.

And two AP voters ranked the Panthers ninth.

I won't stand for any of it.

I'm about to get my Poll Attack on.

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com.)

Associated Press poll: For the AP portion of this week's Poll Attacks, let's play blind body of work.

You ready?

Let's go!

----- TEAM A -----

Record: 24-3
Record vs. RPI Top 25: 6-2
Record vs. RPI Top 50: 7-3
Losses outside RPI Top 25: 1
Double-digit losses: 0
Wins over teams currently ranked in the AP poll: 5

----- TEAM B -----

Record: 23-4
Record vs. RPI Top 25: 0-2
Record vs. RPI Top 50: 2-3
Losses outside RPI Top 25: 2
Double-digit losses: 2
Wins over teams currently ranked in the AP poll: 0

Team A is Pittsburgh and Team B is Arizona.

Is there any question which team has the better body of work?

Pittsburgh has more wins, fewer losses, better wins and better losses than Arizona, and the Panthers have beaten five currently ranked teams while Arizona has topped zero. Still, Jerry Tipton and Myron Medcalf both have Arizona ranked No. 8 and Pittsburgh ranked No. 9. This is proof that it's possible to be a great beat writer and still slip on your Top 25 ballot every once in a while. They're wrong, but I forgive them. As for the coaches ...

Coaches poll: The Duke Blue Devils are No. 1 in the AP and coaches polls even though they have just one win over a fellow Top 25 team (North Carolina). Even though they have a loss to an unranked team (Florida State) and another by 15 points to a team (St. John's) that just broke into the rankings this week. Even though they are sixth in the RPI. And even though they are still projected as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament by everybody who understands how to project such things.

So the top of both polls are silly.

But what bothers me most is Pittsburgh at No. 6 in the coaches poll.

I don't care if you rank by body of work or quality of play, there's no way to conclude that five teams deserve to be ranked ahead of Jamie Dixon's Panthers. As I told you earlier, Pitt is 24-3 with five wins over teams also ranked in the coaches poll -- specifically No. 5 Texas, No. 11 Georgetown, No. 14 Villanova, No. 15 Connecticut and No. 20 Syracuse. For the purposes of comparison, No. 1 Duke (25-2) has one win over a team also ranked in the coaches poll. No. 2 Kansas (25-2) has two. No. 3 Ohio State (25-2) has two. No. 4 San Diego State (27-1) has zero. No. 5 Texas (23-4) has five.

In the loss column, obviously, Ohio State is best. The Buckeyes' only two losses are at No. 8 Purdue and at No. 12 Wisconsin. They're the lone team with at least six wins over top-50 RPI schools and zero losses to schools unranked in the latest coaches poll, which is why I put Ohio State No. 1 in the Top 25 (and one). For the purposes of comparison, No. 1 Duke has lost to one currently unranked team (again, Florida State), No. 2 Kansas has lost to one currently unranked team (Kansas State), No. 4 San Diego State has lost to zero currently unranked teams and No. 5 Texas has lost to two currently unranked teams (Southern California and Nebraska).

Got all that?

Good.

Here's what it means: Texas might have comparable wins to Pittsburgh, but the Longhorns have worse losses (not to mention a loss to Pittsburgh). And Duke, Kansas and San Diego State might have better (and by better, I mean fewer) losses than Pittsburgh, but the Blue Devils, Jayhawks and Aztecs can't touch Pitt in terms of quality wins. Ohio State? Yes, OSU is rock-solid; that's why I have OSU No. 1. But it's difficult to justify having anybody besides Ohio State ahead of the Panthers, and it's impossible to justify having a total of five schools ahead of Pittsburgh.

That said, know this: Pitt would without question be a No. 1 seed if the NCAA tournament started today

So take solace in that, Pitt fans.

The selection committee is smarter than the men who vote in the coaches poll, I assure you.
Posted on: February 19, 2011 12:23 am
 

Videos, videos and more videos!

I recorded previews of six weekend games with Jason Horowitz yesterday.

Click this link to start with Pittsburgh-St. John's.

Then just keep on clicking.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 18, 2011 12:31 am
Edited on: February 18, 2011 12:33 am
 

Pitt's Gibbs will return against St. John's

Pittsburgh junior Ashton Gibbs has been cleared to return from a knee injury that cost him two weeks, meaning he'll be available Saturday when the Panthers play St. John's at Madison Square Garden.

Gibbs was averaging a team-best 16.3 points per game before the injury. The 6-foot-2 guard missed the fourth-ranked Panthers' past three games with a partially torn MCL in his left knee. Pittsburgh beat West Virginia, Villanova and South Florida in his absence.

The Panthers are now 24-2 overall, 12-1 in the Big East.

They have a two-game lead over Notre Dame in the league standings.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 15, 2011 8:33 am
Edited on: February 15, 2011 8:42 am
 

And my new top four would be ...

1. Ohio State
2. Pittsburgh
3. Texas
4. Kansas
 
So, yes, it would be exactly the same as the top four from the latest Top 25 (and one) that was published Sunday night, i.e., roughly 24 hours before Kansas State ran Kansas off the court and cruised to an 84-68 victory at Bramlage Coliseum. Why no change? Because I think the gap between my No. 4 (Kansas) and my No. 5 (Notre Dame) was too wide for one KU loss on the road to a rival to completely close it. In other words, I would leave Kansas No. 4 after this loss at KSU for the same reason I left Ohio State No. 1 after that loss at Wisconsin, because the Jayhawks' body of work suggests that remains where they ought to be positioned.

Kansas is still 6-2 against Top 50 RPI teams with no losses outside of the Top 35.

My No. 5, Notre Dame, is 7-3 against Top 50 RPI teams with one loss outside of the Top 35.

(Most people's No. 5, Duke, is 6-2 against Top 50 RPI teams with one loss outside of the Top 35.)

Is it close and debatable?

Sure.

But if the NCAA tournament started today, I'd still have KU as a No. 1 seed along with Ohio State, Pittsburgh and Texas. Notre Dame, San Diego State, Duke and BYU would be my No. 2 seeds. Georgetown, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Villanova would be my No. 3 seeds, and Florida, Louisville, Purdue and Vanderbilt would be my No. 4 seeds.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Videos, videos and more videos!

You want to watch me preview seven of this weekend's games with Jason Horowitz?

Click this link.

You want to hear me talk about myself for 20 minutes?

That's this link.
Posted on: February 7, 2011 11:53 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 12:10 am
 

That's what a No. 1 seed looks like

Did you see that Monday night?

Did you see what Kansas did to Missouri and what Pittsburgh did to West Virginia? I hope you did. Because if you did you'll understand why both schools are probably headed toward No. 1 seeds in next month's NCAA tournament, and why both programs are basketball powers that won't disappear as long as Jamie Dixon and Bil Self are in charge.

Kansas beat Missouri even though its top prospect, Josh Selby, is sidelined with a foot injury.

Pittsburgh won at West Virginia even though its leading scorer, Ashton Gibbs, is sidelined with an MCL injury.

A team playing without a key player typically struggles, at least against a quality opponent (and especially on the road). But the No. 2 Jayhawks looked unbelievably sharp in a 103-86 win over No. 19 Missouri, and the No. 4 Panthers were just as tough as ever -- and way tougher than the Mountaineers -- in a 71-66 win at No. 25 West Virginia. It was impressive stuff and a testament to Self and Dixon's ability to plug reserves (like Mario Little) into key roles and continue without really missing a step.

No Selby?

No problem.

No Gibbs?

No problem.

Kansas and Pittsburgh both turned in the type of performances that enhance the opinions of believers and convert any remaining skeptics. More important, they each added another quality win to their bodies of work -- the type of quality win that figures to help them earn No. 1 seeds on Selection Sunday.
Posted on: February 6, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 4:36 pm
 

Pittsburgh's Gibbs out with MCL injury

Pittsburgh junior Ashton Gibbs has an MCL injury that's expected to sideline him for at least 10 days, Panthers coach Jamie Dixon told CBSSports.com through a school spokesperson on Sunday.

Gibbs is averaging 16.3 points per game for the fourth-ranked and Big East-leading Panthers.

He will definitely miss Monday's game at No. 25 West Virginia and probably miss Saturday's game at No. 12 Villanova.

Travon Woodall will handle the point guard duties in Gibbs' absence. The 5-foot-11 New York native is averaging 6.7 points and 3.6 assists in 20.4 minutes per game. He's scored in double-figures five times this season.
Posted on: January 31, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 4:17 pm
 

The Poll Attacks

You want to know why more than half of the AP voters have Duke outside of the top five?

Because that's where the Blue Devils belong.

You want to know why one AP voter has Duke inside of the top two?

Because ... I have no idea.

But I appreciate Ron Morris doing it because it makes for an easy Poll Attacks.

Associated Press poll: Where would you rank a team that's A) suffered two losses to currently unranked teams, B) beaten zero currently ranked teams, C) gone 2-2 against four unranked teams in true road games, and D) been without its best player since early December?

If your name is Ron Morris, you'd rank that team second.

You'd be crazy, of course.

But that's what you'd do.

Because that's what Ron did.

(You can click this link see for yourself thanks to PollSpeak.com)

Granted, this is better than last week, when Ron was the lone AP voter who had Duke ahead of Ohio State. But it's still wrong because the Blue Devils' resume wasn't worthy of a No. 2 ranking last week, and it sure isn't worthy of No. 2 ranking after Sunday's blowout loss at St. Johns. To prove this, let's compare the bodies of work of the school Ron has No. 2 (Duke) and the school I have No. 2 (Pittsburgh).

----- Duke -----

Record: 19-2
Wins over currently ranked teams: 0
Losses to currently unranked teams: 2 (Florida State, St. John's)
Losses to currently ranked teams: 0

----- Pitt -----

Record: 20-2
Wins over currently ranked teams: 4 (No. 3 Texas, No. 6 Connecticut, No. 13 Georgetown, No. 17 Syracuse)
Losses to currently unranked teams: 1 (Tennessee)
Losses to currently ranked teams: 1 (No. 9 Notre Dame)

Now allow me to recap: Pitt has at least four wins better than any win Duke possesses, and Pitt has only one loss to a currently unranked team whereas Duke has two. So the Panthers have more wins than Duke, better wins than Duke and two losses that aren't as bad as Duke's two losses. And yet Ron has Duke No. 2 and Pittsburgh No. 4. I bet you a briefcase full of Charlie Sheen's coke that he couldn't possibly defend that order with anything of substance.

Coaches poll: We might find out in March that Utah State is the next Butler or George Mason or whatever, at which point this version of the Poll Attacks will look stupid. But for now the coaches ranking the Aggies 21st is what looks stupid.

What's it based on?

A bunch of bad victories?

The Aggies have played two legitimate basketball teams (BYU and Georgetown) and lost both games by an average of 11.5 points. Beyond that, they haven't done much of note. All 20 of their wins are against teams ranked outside of the Top 100 of the latest RPI, meaning Utah State is 0-2 against the Top 100 and 20-0 against teams outside of the Top 100. Congratulations, I guess. But where I'm from, that's not good enough. You want to be ranked, beat somebody. Because beating a bunch of nobodies doesn't do much for me. Again, if Utah State proves me wrong in March, I'll apologize. But for now the Aggies are just a team stacking wins against weak competition after losing their only two games against good competition.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com