Lots of casual yinzer basketball fans are probably asking themselves, since when does the Big East Tournament start on Tuesday? The answer is, it has for years, but Pitt has been good enough to avoid the early rounds.
Last season, UConn started play Tuesday and won five straight at Madison Square Garden - that included Kemba Walker’s ankle-breaking jumper over Gary McGhee to eliminate the Panthers in Round 3 – to take the Big East title and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. From there they won six more in a row to win the National Championship. In no way are we suggesting that this is happening for Pitt…just reminding you it’s possible.
It all starts this afternoon against St. John’s at 2 p.m. Fortunately for Pitt, their first-round opponent is a team they have already beaten…easily…less than a week ago. Unfortunately, Ashton Gibbs and Dante Taylor weren’t able to build on that performance over the weekend against UConn.
It’s been said a million times, but those two need to perform for Pitt to win today and make a run. The Panthers are 7-3 in their last 10 meetings with the Red Storm and they should go to 8-3 in their last 11 as long as Gibbs comes close to his 15.4 scoring average, Taylor can contribute at least six (points) and six (rebounds) and Tray Woodall can play like the Tray from a month ago.
Vegas is on Pitt’s side favoring them by 5 points on the neutral MSG floor. And with that in mind, it’s funny to see that St. John’s (+5) is the second most popular bet on sportsbook.com. Hopefully Pitt gets the message.
Check back after the game and we’ll let you know how things played out for the Panthers and whether they’re moving on in the tourney or if they’ll be heading back to the Burgh super early this year.