Pitt notebook: Double bye bites Panthers again in Big East tourney
Everything fell into place on the final day of the regular season for Pitt to earn a top-four seed and double bye in the Big East Tournament. The Panthers won while Notre Dame and Syracuse lost.
For the fourth time in five years, the Panthers were beaten in their first game in the league tourney in a 62-59 loss to Syracuse on Thursday in a Big East quarterfinal at Madison Square Garden. It was an unpleasant ending for a program that reached the Big East championship game seven times in eight years between 2001-08.
But Pitt coach Jamie Dixon doesn't blame it on the double bye.
“I think it's that you're going to play a good team. Most likely, it's going to be a top-20 team,” Dixon said. “In other conferences, it's not. But that's the way it is in this conference.
“It gets discussed a lot. You've got to play better. We were healthy. We were rested. We just didn't play well enough in the first half and played better in the second half. I don't know how that has anything to do with a double bye. You're playing against a good team. You've got to play well for 40 minutes.”
• Pitt lost backup center Dante Taylor for the final 11:06 of the second half after an elbow opened a cut above his right eye. The cut required six stitches to close. The 6-foot-9 senior finished with no points and one rebound in nine minutes.
• Taylor's injury forced freshman Steven Adams (six points, seven rebounds) to play a season-high 31 minutes. The Panthers held a 26-10 second-half rebounding edge and outscored the Orange, 28-14, in the paint. “It was kind of physical,” Adams said. “Dante got it real bad. It was physical, but the first half they were more physical than us. That's why we couldn't do anything inside. In the second half, the stats speak for themselves. We started being more physical than them.”
• Not only was Syracuse senior James Southerland's 6-for-6 shooting from 3-point range the most allowed by Pitt in the Big East tourney but a league championship record for most 3s without a miss. It bettered the mark of 5 of 5 set by Syracuse's Greg Monroe against Pitt in 1987. “We gave him open looks,” Dixon said of Southerland. “You can't let guys get started, get confidence and get in a rhythm.”
— Kevin Gorman
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.