Friday, February 17, 2012

Game 27 The End: Pitt 48 WVU 66

The end of an era.  This will be the last backyard brawl, perhaps for a while.  Next year wvu will be in the big 12, and getting to see at least 2 basketbrawls per season (and sometimes 3 in the BET) will be a distant memory.

I enjoy when Pitt beats wvu more than any other school (UCONN is up there as well) but I'm not too bummed about it.  I hope wvu enjoys getting 60 pts hung on them from some of those big 12 offenses next year.

I guarantee you Pitt wins the Big East next year and gets slaughtered by someone in the BCS.  Only because Pitt is a master of winning watered down conferences.

Alex Smith still gives Pitt nightmares.

So now that we don't have to see the hoopies anymore, let's take a walk down memory lane to all 5 home games against wvu since I've been at this lovely university.

Freshman year - February 8, 2008
Pitt had a rough year this season, "The General"  Levance Fields hurt his ankle in non-conference and Pitt struggled without its top point guard and leader for a good 2 months (sound familiar?)  By this time though, Fields was back and Pitt was making a run toward winning the BET.  WVU wasn't very good this year, but you knew it would be a close game.  Pitt would get destroyed by wvu in morgantown in about a month because some joke named Joe Alexander  would score unlimited points.  He used 5 or 6 good games at the end of that year to get drafted #8 overall by the Bucks.  He played a year then was out of the league.
This was actually the one game freshmen year I didn't go to because I got Pens tickets.  I got to watch some of it during intermission by trolling the people who had tvs in their sections, then my dad called me when this happened.
What a shot.  Also that play by Blair earlier is amazing.  WVU choke city on the free throws.

Sophomore year - Feb 9, 2009
Dejuan Blair and Sam Young.  WVU had no chance this year.  Pitt won both by double digits including this one at the Pete.  WVU would beat us in the BET but only because we wanted to lose and rest up for a final four run, which we failed to attain.  Friggin scottie reynolds.

Junior Year - Feb 12, 2010
WVU had the superior team this year.  They were ranked #4 headed into this matchup with a rebuilding Pitt (still ranked #23 though).  Nine days earlier they had slaughtered the Panthers by 19.  I can't do this game justice by talking about it.  It was the greatest game I've ever witnessed in any sport.  Luckily the last 6 minutes of regulation and onward are all on youtube.
The hoopies would get the last laugh though.  They made it to the final four.

Senior Year - Feb 24, 2011
Pitt shot 57% as they swept WVU for the second time in 3 years.
Box Score

Final Undergraduate Totals
Pitt 6 wins (4-0 home, 2-2 road, 0-1 neutral)
wvu 3 wins

Which finally brings us to this year.  Pitt won in wvu a few weeks ago.  Read about it here.

Unfortunately, my undefeated streak against wvu ended tonight, much like my undefeated streaks against a lot of teams ended this season.

WVU controlled most of the first half, holding leads of up to 7.  Pitt went in front briefly at 23-22, but it ended with wvu up by 1 26-25 at the half.  Brawls are usually low scoring so this wasn't a cause for concern.  It would be a big second half.
Side note, the Pete passed out Gold T-shirts for a "GoldOut".  They also gave the Zoo towels to wave with the phrase
"Brawl So Hard" on them.  There are several things wrong with this.
1. "Brawl so Hard"
2. The towels were like terrible towel color gold, which matches up with the gold trim of the wvu unis and not with the vegas gold of the pitt logo and of all the zoo shirts they gave out.
3. Again, "Brawl So Hard?"  Really?...

I went to get food during halftime because I had to work tonight and hadn't eaten in forever.  Got the chicken finger french fry combo.  Smart.  The fries were kind of plain so I decided to put a little salt on them.  I opened a pack and sprinkled a little on.  Way too much!  Ahh!  Oh then I started to eat them.  Turns out that wasn't salt it was sugar.  Sugar fries?  Don't try it.  It's not good.

Then the buzzer went off and it was time to start the second half.
Pitt stayed in the locker room.  I'm pretty sure my 6th grade rec team that went 2-7 played the second half.  Unlimited bricks.  Now I'm going to give grades because the whole point of this post is to talk about what happened but I really don't want to.  I had to sit up in peanut heaven because I didn't get out of work in Monroeville until 8.  But I had the lovely Miss HK with me so it wasn't a total loss.

Oh one more rant.  Pitt oversold tickets to this game.  They sold out the bottom bowl of the zoo, and the two overflow sections, then they sold SRO tickets for that little concourse area.  Effin don't sell SRO tickets, because then I get screwed and end up there with my 5230523523 loyalty points, and the people that probably only get a ticket because of the SRO chances get to sit in the lower bowl.

Here's how they should fix it.
If you're one of the last names to get picked in the lottery, you're automatically in the upper deck.  Save the lower bowl for people who care (and those who write blogs about the games) and not jokes who only go to big games.

Grade time:

Gibbs - When Gibbs gets his name called for the starting lineup, his little celebration or whatever is to get patted down by a teammate.  This is simple and yet clever.  Because Gibbs is a deadly shooter, so he is armed and dangerous, get it?  Or at least I thought so.  But in reality when Nick Rivers pats down, Gibbs he finds nothing.  If Gibbs was armed, then Rivers would find something, then take him back into the locker room and give him a full cavity search.
Gibbs shot 2-11 tonight and missed all 5 of his 3's.  Clearly unarmed.  Grade D

Woodall - Remember when Tray scored like 800 points that one week against wvu  and Villanova?  Well that's a lifetime ago.  He shot 5-16 this game, missed all of his threes like Gibbs and made several careless decisions in the second half.
Grade: C-

So Pitt's two best players combined to shoot 7-27 from the field and 0-9 from three.  For the record, every other Pitt player shot 10-19.
That's how you lose games.

Robinson - This would be another one of those games where you wonder why Nas is trying to play the power forward position in the Big East.  He just couldn't get anything going down there among the trees in the post.  Only 5 points.  Also, he had the assignment of trying to check the best player in the Big East and probably a 2nd team All America, Kevin Jones.  Jones is like 6'8" with 3 point range.  Nas is 6'5" maybe with 3 ft range.  Mismatch city on both ends.  He did pick Jones' pocket once down low which was probably his only highlight.
Grade for Nas C+ because at least he didn't foul anyone 90 feet from the basket today.

Patterson - Patterson is the one player on this team who could stand to be a little more selfish.  He's a big guard who can drive and has the strength to finish with contact.  Unfortunately, he didn't attempt a shot inside 20 feet 9 inches (that's the length of the 3 point line fyi).  He was 1-3 from deep with 5 rebounds and that's all she wrote.  Grade C

Zanna - Zanna actually tried.  He had a nice tip-in and attempted to play defense on the Turkish Hammer Deniz Kilicli.  Grade B-

Dante Taylor -
JJ Moore - The FAN postgame show made JJ their player of the game.  He shot 3-3 from the field and made both of his free throws for 10 points.  His second three cut the wvu lead to 10 with like 4 minutes left and you thought for a second they might make a comeback, but then they didn't.  Grade B+

Epps - It was so bad that Dixon actually had to put Epps in for an offense/defense switch in order to foul people then put Gibbs and company back in for offense.  Epps managed to not foul anyone in his two minutes despite that being his primary purpose.  Also once Dixon was not able to switch back so you had a backcourt of Epps, Wright and Johnson trying to lead a comeback for one possession.
Dixon should be fired for allowing those three guys on the court together for any amount of time.  Nothing against those guys, but there should never be a moment when Gibbs Woodall or Patterson have a pulse that at least one of them isn't out there.  Grade n/a

Wright - Same thing as Epps, only he played 5 minutes.

Johnson - He made a jump shot and missed a pair of threes.  Grade C

Gilbert - Love the kid, but he is absolutely terrified of having the ball in his hands for more than two seconds.  He got an offensive board in the first half, and very easily could have gone up strong and either dunked it or got fouled, but instead he frantically tried to pass the ball out.  I know he wants to be a team player and he knows his limitations (which is to say everything on offense) probably better than anyone on this team, but come on big fella, take a shot.  He did provide the defensive highlight of the night when he sent some guard's floater into orbit.
Grade B

Pitt stands at 15-12 (4-10 BE) with 4 games left + the BET
They are home against USF, away against Louisville, home against St. John's and away against UCONN.  So you can pretty much book Pitt's first non-20 win season since the 2000 season.  I think it will be more of a race to see if Pitt can avoid a losing record.  One win would clinch at least .500 record regardless of what happens in the BET.  Though Pitt might get invited to the CBI at 16-16 and lose to some joke school like Wagner in the first round.

Wait a minute?  You mean to tell me Pitt already lost to Wagner this year?  And at home?  Son of a...

Only a few more weeks and this season will mercifully end.
Praise God,

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