It has been a recurring topic for debate during the past several years that Pitt fans never storm the court. Last night, Ronald Ramon sent the Zoo, and from what I can see in the videos, nearly the entire Pete, into a riot like which the arena has never seen.
We have had some close victories, but part of our allure is that our home court advantage tends to help us get some big wins in great fasion (e.g. beating #5 Georgetown handily). This is the first game ever decided by a buzzer-beater in Petersen Event Center history.
The closest atmosphere I can remember was an overtime victory against Notre Dame a few years back. What this win more resembled was the blur of emotion following Fields’ game-winner this year over Duke.
Having seen both the high of that Duke win and the low of the turnover at Villanova, I am certain that Ronald Ramon and our Panthers are a much improved team since then. I think our record is deceptively poor at the moment. The losses to Cincinnati and Rutgers are inexcusable, although Cinci is actually still holding up fairly well. The loss at UConn was a tight one. People are now really taking notice to the surging Huskies, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them play pretty well this post-season. The loss at Villanova can be almost entirely blamed on lack of chemistry at that point in our season. Ronald was not ready to be the leader, or the point guard, or the last second shot taker. I think last night he showed that he has matured in each of those roles.
Our remaining games are all pretty big matchups. We still have a rematch with Cinci at home. We have a resurgent Louisville at home. We have Notre Dame and Marquette on the road. Our next contest is a very winnable game against Providence at home. They are only 4-6 so far. It would be another good win to lift us up in the standings.
For those of you that are interested in taking some of that intense hatred of WVU on the road, there will be a bus trip to Morgantown on March 3. Details are still being worked out, but tickets will be available for $25. The price includes a ticket and the transportation to and from WVU. This will be the third consecutive year that Pitt has provided us the opportunity to invade Moutainqueer country, but this time a lot of the preparation has been done by your Zoo leaders. Make sure to let them know you appreciate their effort and mark your calendar and stay tuned for more information.