Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE
As I said in the Q&A with SBN blog, Casual Hoya earlier, I felt Pitt could beat Georgetown. I picked them to win (though, let's be honest - that was a bit of a whim) and the Panthers have had some success in the Verizon Center recently against the Hoyas. A 28-point win, though? Didn't see that coming.
Pitt has a funny way of doing these sorts of things. You know, going on the road and jobbing to Rutgers after playing ranked Michigan and Cincinnati teams closely. Nearly losing to Oakland at home. If you're not used to it by now, you should be. If there's one thing you can't do, it's ever pick the Panthers to win or lose. I wouldn't bet on or against Pitt with Monopoly money.
Here's the thing - it's great to be pumped up about this win. I don't particularly care that Georgetown is a bit down now after the Marquette and Pitt losses - anytime you can beat a quality team in conference on the road by nearly 30 points, it's been a good night. But it's also just too early to tell how good or bad Georgetown is right now. The Hoyas looked really bad tonight - I mean really bad. Pitt is not this much better than them, of course. But to declare the Hoyas a top Big East team despite their non-conference success right now appears to be jumping the gun a bit. Right now, there's a ton of uncertainty out there. In other words, Georgetown is better than this ... but how much better is really anybody's guess.
Okay, to the game - not all that much to say. The Panthers were probably the most balanced I've seen them all year. Nine of the ten players that suited up scored in the first half. By the end of the game, everyone had at least four points and Pitt just looked good from start to finish. Jamie Dixon's taken a lot of crap the past two games, but if you've been a detractor that wants to be fair, you've got to give it to him - he had the team ready to play. Pitt came out and never really took their foot off the gas. Todd Graham would be proud.
It's also worth pointing out a stretch that Steven Adams had. Pitt's 20-point lead had dwindled to 13 in the second half with plenty of time to play. Out of the timeout, he dunked home an alleyoop and on the next possession, made a nice pass to James Robinson, who missed a layup. J.J. Moore was there to clean it up, though, and the lead was back to 17. As if that weren't enough, Adams then made a steal on Georgetown's next possession and that led to a Lamar Patterson bucket. Criticize him all you want (as I did after he had a bad first half), but for a few brief minutes, he showed everyone exactly why he can be so good. He was a big reason why Pitt fans could breathe again after Georgetown started mounting a brief comeback attempt.
The Panthers now have a nice little stretch that isn't all that difficult. Their next five games are (not in this order) Marquette, UConn, and DePaul at home, and Providence and Villanova on the road. We should know a lot more about the team after those five games and a 4-1 run there is pretty necessary since after that, they're staring down the barrel at back-to-back games against Louisville and Syracuse along with a road game at Cincinnati a few days after that.
But for now, enjoy this one. It's a rare blowout over a solid team on the road and if Pitt's NCAA hopes come down to the wire, tonight's win should certainly help out.