Friday, March 09, 2007

March 9, 2007 (supplemental)

---Wild Bill---

Until tonight, I've never heard a commentator, TV or radio, local or national, call out a referee like I just heard Bill Hillgrove call out Tim Higgins. Late in the 2nd half, Aaron Gray is apparently fouled as he shoots, and the shot falls. A count-it-and-a-foul situation, or so it appears. But Higgins apparently waved off the field goal and made Gray go to the line to earn those two points. Gray sinks the first of the two, and Hillgrove exclaims:

"Take that, Tim Higgins!"

With 21 seconds left, both he and Dick Groat were still talking about it. I wish I'd have seen it. Bill usually isn't that harsh on officiating. I can't really say the same for Mr. Groat.

To the game itself, the Panthers win on 42.6% shooting and only allowed Louisville to shoot 4 foul shots the entire game (the Cardinals made 3 of those). Louisville also only shot 29.6% from downtown, and couldn't take advantage of being able to limit Pitt's spotty foul shooting and inability to get offensive rebounds with Aaron Gray riding the bench much of the way due to foul trouble.

It looks more like Louisville lost this game more than Pitt won it. Interesting stat of the game:

Cardinals starters: 16 points combined.
Sophomore Terrance Williams: 18 points off the bench.

Props to Pitt for overcoming an 11-point halftime deficit, though. Antonio Graves had a career night, and oft-maligned Mike Cook stepped up and made a couple of key plays at crucial times. If they can win tomorrow night and bring home their second-ever Big East Tournament title, they should be able to net a 3-seed going into the Big Dance.

As I mentioned at the end of the Panthers segment in my previous blog, Georgetown shot nearly 54% against Notre Dame. Expect a more pedestrian 42-45% shooting tomorrow from the Hoyas. I have no idea of what to expect from Pitt, but they will need to shoot closer to 47%, because this Panthers team cannot shoot free throws reliably enough if it's going to come down to that.

If Georgetown takes home their Big East-best 7th, and it's a close game, the Panthers may still get a 4-seed out of the mess, but 4-seeds are the ones that tend to fall to upsets. Syracuse was a 4 to last year's 13 Vermont, for example.

The Pitt Panthers' Big East Revenge Tour concludes tomorrow against regular season champ Georgetown.

Buckle up.


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