Well, I guess I knew this was coming. And it's only a small blurb that I stumbled across, but it got me thinking - there are probably people like this popping up all over the place.
This is the year Pitt goes to the Final Four.
You'll excuse me if I don't buy into this until I actually see it. I've heard about and thought about this too many times over the past decade. Most recently, we heard this in 2008-09 with a loaded team that entered as the No. 1 overall seed.
We all know how that happened.
Still, despite the disappointments, there are the rushes to proclaim this is Pitt's year:
1. This is the year Pittsburgh goes to the Final Four.*
OK, OK you caught us: The little * next to "Final Four" is our little fine print in that statement. (You know, barring injuries, etc.) The Shootaround felt before the season that Pittsburgh was a team that had a terrific shot at punching a ticket to Houston in March. But after Monday night's win over No. 3 Syracuse? Wow, does this team have the goods. Granted, the Orange were without Kris Joseph, but still, the Panthers manhandled Syracuse in every possible fashion. What was most impressive was the inside-outside game that they play. Gary McGhee (arguably the most under-everything'd player in the Big East) and Nasir Robinson don't get nearly enough credit for the roles that they play (and play well) in Jamie Dixon's system. When all of those pieces are moving, Pitt is as good — if not better — than any team in the country.
Look, the thing is that I won't even disagree with any of that. But we've all been through this enough to know that anything can happen in a one-game scenario. Even if the bracket sets up Pitt's way, one bad game can end it all.
So you'll excuse me if I don't get all fired up about Pitt's recent success. The team is off to a great start and Pitt is well on its way to earning a high seed in the NCAA tournament. But as far as talking about Final Four guarantees...
Well, that's lunacy.