There have been a few comparisons made between this season’s Pitt squad and last season’s Boston College team. To refresh your memory, here are the similarites:
– Both are/were Big East teams.
– Both were expected to finish in the middle of the conference (Blue Ribbon had each forecasted for 6th).
– Both had a weak non-conference schedule.
– Both were among the last three unbeatens nationally.
BC went 5-5 after a 20-0 start, losing in the first round of the Big East Tournament and in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to a 12-seed. Ergo, it is implied Pitt may be headed for a similar fate, or at least you should be wary about projecting much success for them.
But I say, buy into Pitt. These teams are different. I wasn’t running the Pythagorean rankings last season, but I was curious where BC would have been at this time in 2005, when they were 18-0 and ranked #5 in the AP poll. Turns out they were 21st in Pythagorean. Pitt currently ranks 10th.
BC really played down to weaker competition a lot during the win streak. Pitt isn’t doing that. The Panthers will lose a few the rest of the way – the Big East will do that to everyone. But don’t slap the “overrated” label on them yet.
Line o’ the Night
FG 3pt FT Reb Min M-A M-A M-A O-T A F S TO BLK Pts Aaron Gray 33 7-10 0-0 9-10 4-12 3 4 0 3 2 23 Result: Loss. Connecticut 80, Pittsburgh 76.
Gray is the best overall rebounder in the country – 7th in OR% and 3rd in DR%. And if you can rebound against UConn, you can rebound against anyone.