I’ll be the first to say it: that game was awful. While Ronald and Levance combined for 23 points with 7 3-pointers, the rest of the team went 12-40 (.300) and 0-6 from 3. The sad part is that Pitt had MORE field goals than UCLA, as well as MORE 3-pointers. The difference was that UCLA hit 23 free throws.
Pitt was in the game down to the final minute, but you wouldn’t ever have guessed by watching them fail on every possession. Missed shots and rebounds were more abundant than I’ve seen for a long while.
Looking at the stat sheet, Pitt did better than UCLA in almost every single category, except free throws and fouls, which obviously go hand in hand. Had Pitt not wasted so many possessions, this should have been a very easy victory. This UCLA team we played tonight is not the one that might be a title contender. This was the UCLA that went down to the wire to beat Indiana last weekend.
I think that Jamie Dixon, the entire Panther squad, and each of us fans should be disappointed with this loss. However, the season is now over. Aaron Gray will (hopefully) soon get drafted to the NBA. Levon, Antonio, and Doyle have put on their uniforms for the last time. The next time we will get to see this team suit up, it will be quite a different squad. The inside big men will be gone. We’ve got some good talent coming in. We have Gilbert waiting for his true debut. We shouldn’t forget that we also have those two guards who hit seven triples tonight returning.
What Pitt fans should take solace in tonight is that although we missed the Elite Eight once again, its not the first time we’ve been in this position, and you have every reason to believe that Pitt will have its chance again next season. That, and at least you aren’t a UConn Huskies fan.