Xavier - Pitt: Panthers need to pry monkey off their back


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Pittsburgh is one game away from advancing to their first regional final since the field expanded to 64 65 teams.  It should happen; they're bigger, better, and badder than Xavier, but the Musketeers always seem to find a way of playing to their competition. 

The matchup to focus on here is Sam Young v. Derrick Brown. As each team's most versatile player, it would be wise for these guys to attempt a couple of earth-shattering dunk attempts and get their team and followers fired up early.

Where Pitt has the biggest advantage is at the point.  Senior Levance Fields tends to make all the right decisions, while XU freshman Terrell Holloway still has lapses where he isn't sure what the right decision is  He's quick and has a bright future, but not steady enough, or physical enough to match-up with Fields for a full 40 minutes. I could see Dante Jackson being called on to check the kid from the Bronx, while Sean Miller takes his chances with Holloway guarding Jermaine Dixon.

On the interior, it would be easy to give the advantage to Pitt, but all it takes is for Dejaun Blair to find foul trouble, and suddenly the Musketeers frontcourt rotation of Love, Frease and McLean looks pretty decent.

This all sounds like wishful thinking as a Xavier alum, and it is.  Pitt has the depth and size to win, and I think they prevail in a very physical game.

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