Pitt beat Butler last night in a 68-62 overtime thriller to send the Panthers to the CBI finals. WOOOOO! Pitt now advances to play Washington State in a best-of-three finals. Yea, who knew it was a best-of-three? I sure didn’t, but it sounds pretty awesome. Another silver lining in the game; Pitt has now won at least 20 games in 12 straight seasons…so they have that going for them…which is nice.
It looked like Pitt was about to have its second straight season ended by Butler; the Bulldogs lead for most of the second half until Lamar Patterson hit a three with 36 seconds left to tie the game at 52. Butler got the ball for the final possession of the game but Roosevelt Jones was fouled with 4.2 second left. At this point, I’m sure the Pitt players were having last year’s tournament game flashbacks…but Jones inexplicably missed both free throws and the game went into overtime.
Patterson kept things going for the Panthers in OT and with some help from Tray Woodall, the two combined for 14 points in OT and helped the Panthers go on an 11-5 run to seal the victory and advance to the tourney finals.
Talib Zanna led Pitt in scoring with 15 points but Ashton Gibbs played pretty awful; he went 0-8 from the field and didn’t score a single point. Luckily for Pitt, other players like the Nigerian Nightmare stepped up big time.
This win in no way makes up for the heartbreaking loss in last year’s tournament but it does feel good to break the 20 win barrier. Like I said, it’s better than nothing.
Up next for the Panthers is a Washington State team who finished the regular season below .500 and went 7-11 in the abysmal Pac-12. The first game is on Monday at Washington State with the next two games at the Pete on March 28 and 30.
It’s not the championship game we want to be in but at least we’re playing for a championship.
Who am I kidding? This still sucks.