Sunday, January 20, 2013

Panthers on two game winning streak after 69-61 triumph over UConn

Just when it looked like the Pitt Panthers were on their way to a repeat of last season's dismal finish, they responded with two fairly impressive victories over Villanova and Connecticut last week to improve to 3-3 in the Big East Conference and 15-4, overall.

Obviously, Pitt isn't out of the woods just yet with regards to being a lock for the NCAA field of 68, but it's on its way to perhaps getting back some of that swagger it has been missing recently.

Of course, a lot of the Panthers' success depends on their guard-play, as New Zealand phenom, center Steven Adams, hasn't really shown up yet and is only averaging 6.6 points per game--will Pitt ever get anything out of a prized freshman big man not named Dejuan Blair?

The Panthers are number one in the Big East in points against, but they're sixth in the conference (and 71st, nationally) in points scored.

That will be a problem come tournament time--a problem not unfamiliar with the program. The defense is nice, but Pitt will have to find a scorer or two to depend on if a tournament berth (and run) is realistic.

But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Right now, the Panthers are 62nd in the all-important RPI rankings.

Fortunately, the Big East is second in conference RPI, and that will certainly help come Selection Sunday--a court-storming victory over a team like No. ranked Louisville wouldn't hurt any, either.

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