Pitt falls, UConn advances

It’s all right there in the title — my bracket is f*#kd.

The Pittsburgh Panthers played with fire for the entire tournament and they finally got burned. In the first three games, they showed tremendous poise in the clutch. But when they had a chance to put this game away, they blew it.

Up four with the ball and 2:56 remaining, Pitt brought the ball up against Villanova’s full court pressure. If Pitt converts there and goes up six or seven, it would be a tough road to hoe for Villanova. But Jermaine Dixon made a bad decision at half court, which led to a steal and eventually to a three-point play for Villanova. On Pitt’s next possession, Sam Young turned the ball over in the lane. And just like that, the Panthers’ four point lead turned into a one-point deficit.

Down four with 0:12 to play, it looked like all was lost, but DeJuan Blair slipped to the hoop for a bucket and the Wildcats turned the ball over going for the home run. Levance Fields was fouled and knocked down two free throws to tie the game with 5.5 seconds to play. One more stop and Pitt was going to force an overtime when they had absolutely no business doing so. But they made a mistake on the inbound play, allowing ‘Nova to catch the ball near halfcourt, where it was flipped to Scottie Reynolds who was streaking down the sideline. The long pass covered a lot of ground when Pitt should have forced Villanova to dribble the entire length of the court. Make them catch it in front of you!

Reynolds drove into the lane and hit a tough game-winner.


Give credit to Villanova for playing a great game. As a team, the Wildcats shot 22 of 23 from the free throw line, which is outstanding given the pressure of an Elite Eight game. It’s going to be fun to see them play in the Final Four.

In the other Saturday game, UConn fended off a feisty Missouri team with a 12-5 run over the last two minutes. UConn looked a little out of sorts in the second half, but freshman Kemba Walker scored 23 points off the bench to put the Huskies over the top.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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