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.
Around the web...
- Shannon Russell; Cincinnati Enquirer: At his press conference today, Sean Miller conceded that his team needed to play their best in order to advance.
- Joe Kay; Associated Press: Win or lose, Xavier has become a model college program
- Bob Ryan: Boston Globe: Their perennially one of the 16 best, but can they be one of the four best? Bob Ryan thinks Pitt is better equipped on offense this season.
- The Pittsburgh Post Gazette shows the Panthers looking loose today with video from their Wednesday afternoon shootaround.
- Ron Cook; Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Well whaddaya know, five teams from the Big East remain and we all should take notice.