Pitt is not going to the NCAA Tournament. That is not the way anyone wanted to see the season go, but it is the path that it took. Now, the Panthers will set their sights on going out on a high note and play host to an opening round game in the NIT Tourney. Many joke that it should be called the "Not Important Tournament" and I understand that feeling, but these are athletes who play at a high level. There is a game scheduled and you have to feel that once the ball is tipped, the competitive juices will begin to flow. How that flow will go, could depend on whether the Oakland Zoo shows up for the game.
Pitt has relied on the Zoo for a fair amount of their success this season and will have a chance to help out again tonight. George Washington University will head up to Oakland from Washington, DC for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff. Head coach Mike Lonegran guided the Colonials to a 21-12 record this year and ended up 8-10 in the A-10 Conference. GW saw some highs this season with upsets over Tourney bound Dayton and a big-time win over Wichita State earlier in the year, so they are capable. At the same time, the Colonials lost to the likes of Duquesne and Penn State, so the Panthers will not want to add their names to their list of victims.
If you can't make it to the game, in-person, you can watch it on national TV since it will be featured on ESPN. If you are like me, you don't care who Pitt is playing, what it means, or where it is; if you can see it, you'll tune in. For example, if the Panthers happen to get by George Washington and Temple wins, the chances of a game in North Philly are good for Pitt. I will make every effort to be there since it's on my side of the state. A co-worker of mine, who is a Temple grad can't figure out if we should be excited about this possible game next round or sad that we would care so much. Hopefully it will happen and force us to look at ourselves a little harder.
Below are our picks for the game tonight. Chime in below and let us know your thoughts on the game.
Chris (12-6): Pitt
Jim (12-6): Pitt
JD (11-7): Pitt
Anson (10-8): Pitt
Stephen (9-9): Pitt
Aron (8-10): Pitt