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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 first but missed the second. Butler's Matt Howard grabbed the rebound and incredibly was fouled by Nasir Robinson. This, too, was an iffy call, but seemed to be more of a foul than the earlier one. Butler, of course, made its foul shot to win the game.

Pitt, favored in college basketball odds to beat the Bulldogs, now must live with such an awful defeat.

The Panthers routinely have losses like this in the tournament. It certainly leaves a sour taste on this season.

I'm not sure if it's Dixon's coaching or not I can tell you this: some of his decisions left a lot to be desired Saturday night.

Did he tell his players not to foul at the end?

Why couldn't his team get a shot off at the end of the game?

Why were Dixon's players playing for the rebound when Brown missed his foul shot? Did you notice Butler pulled their players at the end?

And why can't the Panthers make a run in the NCAA tournament? West Virginia has made a Final Four. Butler did it. George Mason did it. Plenty of teams have that magical run.

Pitt? Their magic is finding unusual ways to lose.

Comments

  1. I just watched highlights from this game, and that was one of the craziest finishes I have ever seen except for buzzer beaters! I can’t recall ever seeing two fouls committed in the last 1.4 seconds of a game. It looks like both teams need to understand the importance of knowing the time, score, and situation in the game. I’m disappointed Pittsburgh lost because the defeat did some damage to the brackets I filled out.

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