Panther Rants is The Onion of Pitt Sports. Formerly a serious recruiting blog written by a serious recruiting writer, the site was taken over by mediocre bloggers that provide satire, sarcasm and anything but serious information. Everything on this site is tongue-in-cheek and is not meant for serious consumption.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Pitt Basketball: Season in Review

Another season ends for Pitt Men's Hoops. The women are still in it as they beat the Bears from Baylor. So let's look at a season in review.

In Good Times....

  • Pitt goes off on an 11-0 start with wins over Washingston, Oklahoma State, and a huge win over Duke at Madison Square Garden.
  • With injuries to Mike Cook and Levance Fields, Pitt manages to beat Georgetown 69-60. This may have been the first warning sign that Georgetown was going to tank it in the post season.
  • The win over West Virginia where Ronald Ramon makes the shot of his life.
  • The 18-2 run where Pitt would come back and beat Syracuse. What was more funny was the fact that Syracuse and their arrogant fan base spent their energy on one play and they forgot about the other plays where they let us back in the game.

And Bad Times......

  • Pitt loses Cook and Fields within almost a week. Pitt loses Cook in the Duke game while Fields goes down in the loss to Dayton.
  • Pitt loses to Rutgers. Never in my life was I ever so bitter over a Pitt loss than this one. I mean this was like losing to South Florida in 2001. I mean it's like letting a blind man beat you in a game of Memory without telling him what cards he's picking up. ( Disclaimer: This was not intended to offend the vision impaired. )
  • Pitt loses to Marquette, ND, and Louisville. Three games in a row. This was maybe the tip of the iceberg to Pitt hoops followers. Some felt the ship was about to sync while others would say "Stay Calm....All is well!"
I'll be on your side forevermore......

  • Big East Tournament. Enough said.

That's what friends are for......

  • This season had its ups and downs. There were times you hated this team, and there were times where you knew why you love this team. Not much jokes from this writer here or reasons to complain. They won games, they went to the tournament, and they did it with a short bench with a true freshman starting.
  • While some may complain of the early exit, it could have been a lot worse. Be happy it never came to that.
  • Hey, it's not Pitt Football. They haven't had a bowl season since Harris left.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pitt Bows Out of Elite Eight

Pitt Basketball's big run at the NCAA Tourney ended today as they were eliminated from the Elite Eight.....of their bracket. Pitt made the Final Four last year of their bracket, but couldn't seem to make it back as they went back to their form before the Big East Tournament started. Drew Neitzel, the winner of the Mike Gansey Award for "White Players that Pitt can't seem to defend" led the Spartans with 21 points and took a few years off Ron Ramon. Neitzel also picked up the "Antonio Gates Award" for unsung hero of opposing team that knocks off Pitt. Pitt won it last year for their offensive performance against UCLA. Barry Goheen was the original candidate for the award to be named after, but screw him and Vanderbilt.

Other Notes from the game:

  • Keith Benjamin is appealing to the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibity. The senior didn't play a lot of minutes until this year and he made some key contributions.

"We didn't realize his potential until we started playing him more", says Coach Dixon, "There were times we actually forgot he was on the team. He was late for our team photo because we forgot to mention it to him. He had a great year for us and hopefully the committee approves his return."

Benjamin is also a finalist for the "John Degroat Award" for player seldomly used. He may be disqualified for the amount of minutes he accrued this past season. No one may win the award due to injuries of other players.
  • The city had some problems knocking down St. Francis Hospital in recent days. Not because of their methods of demolishing the old hospital, but from the amount of bricks Pitt players were making in the final weeks of the season that was rebuilding the hospital. Luckily, they were able to tear it down before the game started. If they didn't it would have been another week until the building could come down.

And on the third day Wlat rose again....

-Yeah, we know, we are damned lazy.
-Another March, another Pitt loss in the tourney. We don't want to be too quick to put judgment on this season, but anyone who said back in mid-January that this team would be Big East Tourney champs a 4 seed would have seemed crazy. The loss yesterday hurt (thank Wlat that we never have to see Ron Ramon wear a Pitt uniform again, unless a Pittsburgh Xplosion uni counts) but they did put together a nice run. It sucks to lose to a Fat-10 team but Pitt this team will be good for years to come.
-Spring Football is around the corner, and that means more ridiculously high expectations of Hot Beefy Man Studs that have never produced before. Look forward to endless discussions about who will start at QB, how great Dorin Dickerson will look at his 5th position, who has the best hips of the Linebackers and yada yada.
-Peace and praise be to Wlat.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Thoughts upon re-watching the Brawl

The Big East owes Pitt calls for the next 10 years for that shit.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Teams that should and shouldn't make the NCAA tournament

Well, the airwaves and TV Land are full of talking heads pontificating about "The Bubble", and which crappy teams should and shouldn't be part of the field of 65. We here at Panther Rants will forego all the mind-numbing analysis and tell you who is in and who is out.

Will start at home, with the Big East:

West Virginia: Out. Weak power numbers (RPI 37, SOS 52) and their best wins are over a ridiculously overrated team of Weeping Creans and a Pitt team that is more fatigued than Robert Byrd after filibustering a civil rights bill.

Villanova: Out. Even weaker power numbers than WVU and losses to NC State, DePaul, and Rutgers automatically eliminate the Well Dressed Wrights from consideration.

Syracuse: Out. Great SOS, Horrible RPI, and a worse record than last year when they didn't get in. Thank god they have an entire roster full of five star recruits. They've also lost to Rhode Island and UMass (at home) and Ohio State. Shameful.

Atlantic Coast Conference:

Virginia Tech: Out. Poor record, baaaaad power numbers, and they lost to Penn State. In basketball. Yes, basketball.

Miami (FL): In. Strong power numbers and a win over Duke cancel out a marshmallowy soft OOC schedule.

Clemson: In, but why? Good power numbers, but not one win against team you'd even call above average. Plus, a loss to Charlotte, and no, not the team with 'Zo and 'Grandmama.

Maryland: Out. Poor record, poor RPI, and not finishing well down the stretch, victory over UNC can't put mascara on this tranny.

Big Ten:

Ohio State: Out. Poor record + poor conference + poor RPI = NIT. They also scored 48 points in a loss to Iowa. For you fans counting at home, that's 1.2 points per minute against a team that couldn't contain 10-20 Louisana-Monroe's offense in a loss.

Minnesota: Out. Maybe Tubby gets them to the dance in the future, but not this year. Bad record, awful power numbers and a loss to Illinois will always keep you out.

Big Twelve:

Kansas State: Out. Mediocre RPI, good SOS. Unfortunately, a poor record in a down Big Twelve (only Kansas and Texas are even remotely good teams), and they lost to a Missouri team with I think 3 players on scholarship who weren't suspended.

Baylor: In. Good power numbers despite the lack of a true quality win (no, beating Kansas State doesn't count). Big props to Baylor for scheduling Centenary, which I think is a seminary school.

Oklahoma: Out. Good power numbers offset by the lack of a marquee win coupled with losses to Colorado and Stephen F. Austin. They did beat Denver, unfortunately Camby and 'Melo were out with injury.

Texas A&M: In. Weak power numbers but good overall record and a win over Texas. Could solidify themselves with a win over Baylor tonight. Only question is what country was the Ouachita Baptist game played in?

Pacific 10 Conference:

Arizona: Out. I don't care if you play the toughest schedule in the country. Doesn't mean much if you don't beat anyone on the schedule. Too many losses, under .500 in conference play, a loss to Virginia which would be acceptable if Ralph Sampson was suited up, and swept by your biggest rival (Arizona State), which is never good for your tourney hopes, especially when they're on the bubble too. Speaking of.....

Arizona State: In. Weaker power numbers, but quality wins over great Xavier and Stanford teams.

Southern California: Out (unless they defeat Stanford in the regular season finale). Middling power numbers with one quality win on the road over UCLA. Mayo not really living up to the hype. Need to beat Stanford.

Southeastern Conference:

Kentucky: Out. Weak RPI offsets great SOS. Baaaaad home loses to San Diego, UAB, and Gardner-Webb. Wins over Tennessee and Vanderbilt can't offset those losses and piss-poor record.

Florida: Out. SOS that would make Joe Paterno chuckle. With a win tonight over Tennessee I may have said yes, but they just blew a double-digit lead at home. One quality win over Vanderbilt coupled with less than impressive victories over King Dons like North Dakota State, North Carolina (Central), and five bottles of cheap cologne.

Mississippi: Out. Andy Kennedy will do good things at Ole Miss, but not this year.

Arkansas: In. Middling power numbers but key victories over Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and fellow bubble resident Florida give the hogs over the nod over the Gators. Also, this guy simply must keep playing basketball as long as possible this year.

Monday, March 3, 2008