Well it can’t have gone unnoticed that another number one ranked team had fallen as the curse seemingly goes on concerning the aspirations of a number of programs within men’s college basketball.
Last night that ignominious distinction went to the Pitt Panthers. And let’s just say they were ripe for the plucking as a virgin on her first night of illicit pleasure. Suffice to say that for all of the predetermined belief that this might’ve been the best team in the nation when it came to men’s basketball. The effort put forth was about as welcoming as seeing Rosie O’Donnell dressed in nothing but a thong.
The team did nothing to underscore the ineptitude shown and in allowing themselves to be completely manhandled by Providence went a long way in suggesting why it is that the rankings just aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. The Friars basically bitch slapped the Panthers up and down the court like an unwanted step-child. Though I’m not about to suggest that they were deserving of this fate. But unless you’re going to come out and play with heart. Then why the hell bother to turn up at all ?
The Big East for all of its inadequacies is still a conference that warrants the attention of all who know something about the game of basketball. Especially at the college level. And therein lies the misnomer as the pundits and analysts alike tend to just see what they want to see. Rather than looking intuitively at the teams overall. With five teams ranked in the top 25 and all of them equally mindful of the fact that they’re capable of beating up on one another. It oughtn’t to have come as a surprise that this was upset was in the offing. It’s not as if the Panthers have stood head and shoulders above everyone else ? If anything coach Jamie Dixon’s team merely proved to us all along what many of us have known. You’re only as good as your last victory would suggest and not much more beyond that.
As to how this’ll now play out as far as the remainder of the regular season goes. This much is abundantly clear the only ranking that really counts is the one at the culmination of the season once the NCAA Tournament is over. That’s when one ought to be afforded the bragging rights and most certainly not before. The yoke that a number ranking now seems to attach to a program tends to lead it down to the garden path to either sheer ineptitude or now rarely the case glory. And insomuch as we tend to treat such accolades with a certain amount of fervor. It does absolutely nothing for that program when they’re unable to live up to the expectations. And that most definitely has been the case for each of the teams that’ve held the mantle and distinction of being ranked number one this season amongst men’s college basketball.
So one can ask what actually went wrong for the Panthers last night ? And my answer would be nothing at all. They merely didn’t come to play and neither did they look like the best team in the nation. There’s a feeling we tend to affix a label to something in order to either justify a rationale without ever really looking at the facts. And the fact of the matter is that Pitt aren’t as good as advertized despite them beating U Conn. That was merely one game that in the end didn’t prove much at all. The much heralded play of DeJuan Blair all but disappeared and the same can be said of Sam Young as well. But it’d be remiss to think that just these two players are to blame for the team’s loss last night to Providence. It was a team and coaching effort that led to the overall loss. And if anything the Friars ought to be commended for their 81-73 victory .
Providence for its part just wasn’t going to be pushed around and played their part in usurping a team that many felt ought to have and could’ve played better. But it’d appear that the Panthers either just didn’t have their heart in the game or their minds were elsewhere. Suffice to say that it helps to show up for a game and at least have the temerity to get things done on the court of play before bragging about how capable you actually are.