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Cardiac Spill Bracket of Things: Pitt Villains, Round 2

Everyone runs fake brackets this time of year, and now Cardiac Spill is jumping on the bandwagon. Join us over the next month as we debate stupid things that don't matter while you stuff the ballot boxes for your strongly held internet beliefs.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt Villains Regional, Round Two

(1) Todd Graham vs. (8) The Absolute Syracuse Orange Basketballer

Todd Graham def. Duquesne, 470-17
Syracuse Hydra def. Kevin Pittsnogle, 252-222

Why Todd Graham? Jamie Dixon on Monday ended things in the equivalent of an honest, four hour heart to heart in the living room. It didn't need to happen now, but was no surprise - the warning signs had been far too great in number to ignore, after all. As we talk, that peculiar blend of sadness and relief overtakes us. That's good. That's how we know that him breaking things off for good is, deep down, what we wanted. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. But it's for the best.

Grievances are aired. In time we both realize that the spark was long gone and that we were now just staying together out of convenience, expectation, and, honestly, a bit of inertia. He's moving home for some old flame; maybe we'll do the same - who knows? The future is wide open. Somewhere, the right one's out there...

Jamie was a great guy, though. He set a high bar. We'll see him at parties, make small talk, catch up. Idly wonder what could've been. Doubts: can we really do better than this? Was that the peak? Years from now, we'll get a job a few cities over. Maybe as we pack up the apartment we'll find that old sweater of his, folded away behind that dresser we had to beg the next tenant to take just so we wouldn't have to try to move it down three flights of stairs. That sweater comes with us to the new place, a little reminder of a past life well lived.

On the U-Haul ride over to the new house, we stop for lunch at a Denny's off the highway. Todd Graham's there with some bimbo. As soon as we see him, we stab him with a fork. Text message. You sonofabitch.

Why the endless parade of Syracuse players? As Mike pointed out on Twitter, guys like Pittsnogle, Gilyard, even Scottie Reynolds - these guys eventually went away. The latter two really only ever did one terrible thing. Syracuse having annoying four-star players who get exhausted from playing zone in a six man rotation is forever.

Here's a fun trick: GIS pictures of Syracuse's basketball team in action. Try to guess what year it's from. You can't! You can't, because there's something about the Cuse uniform that just completely washes out all other distinguishing features. Or maybe no time passes in the Carrier Dome. Or I'm faceblind. Either one.

What did you learn while writing this? That Tyler Ennis and Michael Carter-Williams are both currently on the Milwaukee Bucks. How about that!

(12) Mardy Gilyard vs. (13) Tino Sunseri

Mardy Gilyard def. Jason White, 306-125
Tino Sunseri def. Notre Dame Leprechaun, 286-163

Why Mardy Gilyard? If Pitt football did anything of consequence since 2009, maybe Gilyard wouldn't have even made this list. But in the waning days of Wannstedt and straight through to Graham and Chryst... nothing... really... happened. Basketball had its parade of heartbreaks in those years, but football had no greatness for anyone to deny. So we've had this time to simmer on Gilyard keeping us from the top - the last time we were anywhere close to a consequential bowl - and he's just become this avatar of everything going wrong, of collapse, of why we are never going to be good, because even if we get a coach, a talented roster, and a favorable schedule (THE ACC COASTAL WILL NOT REMAIN A POWER VACUUM FOREVER, SURELY), the universe will shrug, go well we can't have this now, can we? And then some goof from Duke gashes us for 200 yards.

Why Tino Sunseri? I only get 172 more guaranteed days of ending Pitt/Penn State arguments with
WELL THE LAST TIME WE PLAYED YOU WE KICKED YOUR ASS, and that's okay, because in exchange for that I get to find out if a football game will kill me.

Similarly, we only have 2,369 days until we don't have to deal with the same from WVU fans. Let's all remember how that game ended:
  • 6:10 - WVU Rushing TD. WVU 21, Pitt 20.
  • 2:45 - Tino Sunseri ends a drive by getting sacked. Pitt forced to punt.
  • 1:56 - WVU forced to punt.
  • 1:40 - Tino Sunseri sacked.
  • 1:28 - Tino Sunseri incomplete pass.
  • 1:10 - TIno Sunseri complete pass.
  • 0:56 - Tino Sunseri rushes for exactly one yard (and not a hair more) on 4th & 1. Pitt's on their own 40. They only need field goal range.
  • 0:47 - Tino, close before a sack, throws the ball into the damn ground like some sort of long-range spike. That's intentional grounding and ten seconds off the clock. Maybe it's a bad throw, maybe he thought he could get away with it. Who knows? His heart's in the right place, at least. You can't let yourself be sacked in situations like these. Not ever.
  • 0:37 - 2nd & 18. Ball is snapped.
  • 0:32 - Tino is swept out of the pocket. He might still be looking to pass. He might be looking to scramble. It's 2nd & 18.
  • 0:31 - Three Mountaineer defenders are upon you, Tino. We just talked about this. You know what you must do.
  • 0:30 - Tino, get that ball far away from you. Stop the clock. You know this. Do not get sacked, Tino.
  • 0:29 - Tino,
  • 0:28 - Tino Sunseri sacked.
  • 0:27 - No. No. No. No. No. No. No. Bad. no
  • 0:26 - The clock is still running now.
  • 0:23 - Your coach is screaming now.
  • 0:22 - Tens of thousands of fans all around you are screaming now.
  • 0:21 - You are surrounded by sharks. Your raft is sinking.
  • 0:19 - This is the last brawl, Tino. This is how this chapter's going to end.
  • 0:15 - 3rd & 24 on the Pitt 30. "They need a miracle," they say in the booth.
  • 0:13 - There's no time left. You need to throw it far, and pray.
  • 0:12 - Ball is snapped.
  • 0:11 - Tino looks towards the horizon.
  • 0:10 - If you really were adrift out there, instead of here, someone like you might be able to see for three whole miles of ocean before the horizon eats it. If Devin Street was on another raft that far away, drifting by, could you see him too? Do you think you could throw the ball that far? What if you needed to? What if the only thing that mattered in life was you getting that ball as far from you as you could, right then? How much effort could you expend?
  • 0:09 - Mothers can lift cars off of babies, after all.
  • 0:08 - Better question: Given the choice, would you rather be on that raft right now?
  • 0:07 - Ball is stripped from Tino's hands.
  • 0:00.

(3) Scottie Reynolds vs. (6) James Franklin

James Franklin def. Steve Pederson, 222-214
Scottie Reynolds def. The Refs, 351-85

Why Scottie Reynolds? a damn shame

scottie reynolds, a damn shame it happened,
five point five seconds, .

,the man just does the damn thing
dude was only 4/11 that night
sam young had 28

sam young coulda been a hero man

instead we gotta do this and life's the same

.didn't have to the same.but it was, now it is


Why James Franklin? I kind of expected Tarado Tigre over here to be on a clear path to the final round of this, but he only beat Steve Pederson by eight votes, and three of those were me. So we have to go next level with the "James Franklin Animal Face" thing that he almost seems to be doing intentionally for his savviest fans to catch.

On the one hand, he hasn't done anything to us yet. On the other, look at this friggin' jamoke.

(2) Joe Paterno vs. (7) Rick Pitino

Joe Paterno def. the Blue Butterfly Caterpillar, 385-37
Rick Pitino def. Local Geography, 334-88

Why Joe Paterno? Joe Paterno could have illegally exchanged arms for hostages with Iran.

Why Rick Pitino? Rick Pitino might have killed John F. Kennedy.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter (@PittPantherBlog) for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Graphics manipulated with Follow the sadboy on Twitter:@N_THEYSTAYTHERE.