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Showing posts from March, 2011

Pitt's basketball legacy continues to disappoint

Every spring you can count on a handful of things: the return of baseball, preparation of taxes, a wild party on St. Patrick's Day and, of course, the Pitt collapse in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Saturday was the latest chapter in Pitt sports history where the eighth-seeded Butler Bulldogs crushed the hopes of Pitt fans with an unbelievable 71-70 win in the NCAA tournament.

It was the second time in three seasons that the No. 1-seeded Panthers failed to make the Final Four.

And this time, they failed to make the Sweet 16 under coach Jamie Dixon.

The ending proved to be typical Pitt. It also proved my theory with the Panthers: They will break your heart.

The Panthers failed to get a shot off with a lead, giving Butler the ball with less than 10 seconds left. Butler scored to take the lead, beating the so-called tough Pitt defense. With less than 2 seconds left, Pitt's Gilbert Brown was unbelievably fouled. It was a so-so call, but it was the gift Pitt needed.

Brown made the…

Why a Final Four trip isn't in Pitt's future

Let me start off by admitting that I'll be rooting for Pitt to earn a trip to the Final Four.

I'll be rooting, but I don't expect it to happen.

That's usually the way it is with Pitt. I've lived by one rule when it comes to Pitt football and Pitt basketball -- they will disappoint you (or break your heart).

This will be Pitt's 10th straight tournament appearance. Over the past nine seasons, Pitt has a strong history of underachieving.Last year, they lost to Xavier in the second round. In 2008 they lost to Michigan State in the second round. In 2006 they lost to Bradley in the second round. In 2005 they lost to Pacific in the first round.

They play in the toughest league and won it. However, their style of physical play doesn't translate into the tournament. First, they enter the game with a reputation of a hard-nosed, tough team, putting the officials on alert. Second, they get officials who don't normally allow such play.

I've always thought the Pa…

Bracket Racket 3.0 has your NCAA winner

The new-look NCAA tournament begins tonight with two games, but the same rules apply when predicting the champion -- follow my Bracket Racket for the winner of the national championship.

I've picked winners in the past using this formula, so there's a good chance it'll be right again this year. Especially with the upgrades I've installed to cope with a 68-team field handed to us by the NCAA.

Hopefully they don't go to a 96-team field. I'm not sure my computer can handle more changes.

As an added bonus, if you have the right channels on your cable tiers, you can watch all the games. That's pretty cool, unless you own a business and want your employees to be productive.

Now, on to the picks.

First, eliminate all No. 16 seeds. This is a tried-and-true formula. It especially holds true since no No. 16 seed has ever won a game. That eliminates Boston U., Hampton, and the two schools that emerge to face Ohio State and Pitt after the first-round games on Tuesday an…