Saturday, January 17, 2009

Live Blog of Panthers- Cardinals

5:58 We are live from... our apartment in Oakland! All set to put together a live blog of the Pitt-Louisville basketball game that is slated to get under way in precisely two minutes. This game boasts the number one team in the nation (god I will never tire of saying that) matching up against the 20th ranked Louisville Cardinals in Louisville's Freedom Hall. The key players for our Panthers are, of course, DeJuan "The Windex Man" Blair, Sam I Am Young, and Levance Fields. For the Cards, its freshman star Samardo Samuels, Earl Clark, and 10th year senior Terrance Williams (just kidding of course, it only SEEMS like he's been there since the 80s.) Should be fun.

6:00 Soooo....yeah the Big Ten matchup of Illinois-Michigan State is going long. Its not enough that the Big Ten has to play awful basketball, they have to play slow awful basketball that forces the rest of us to inadvertantly watch them disgrace the James Naismith's game? Just appalling.

6:05 Evidently the tipoff has been delayed until 6:10 PM. Well okay then. By the way, I've seen youth league YMCA basketball games that were more interesting and better played than this atrocity of a game. There's still 3:56 left in this trainwreck.

6:11 ESPN is so appalled by having to broadcast this Big Eleven disaster with its 0.0 Nielsen rating that it briefly takes us to a split screen of Pitt-Ville where Ty Biggs drains a trey. Then they immediately switch back to Illinois-MSU. What a tease.

6:16 Panthers are up 9-2 right now and we are still suffering through this worthless Big Eleven game. I'm freaking out right now, I've seen more Big Eleven basketball today than I have in my entire life, and I understand why that is so. These teams would get debacled by Pitt.

6:18 Hey Michigan State finally F-Ing wins this game. ESPN can't cut the chord to that one fast enough. Ahhhh.... Big East basketball. Thank God. Of course they are at a media timeout. All 5 Pitt starters have scored we are told.

6:20 Superb! The wonderful Bill Raftery is calling the game alongside Sean McDonough and Fran Frischilla. This is a pretty good crew calling our game. "Send it in Jerome!"

6:21 Jermaine Dixon welcomes us to the game by nailing a 3. He is playing about 1,000 times better in the last couple games.

6:23 What happened to Edgar Sosa? Wasn't this guy supposed to be a really good player when he came here. I just looked up his stats and he has gotten worse statistically every year since he got to Louisville.

6:28 Edgar Sosa gets hacked going to the basket and falls away from the basket out of control and does a weird hug/dance thing with one of the refs. Kinda creepy. I don't think anyone knew what the hell to make out it. The Panthers are driving me crazy right now. Louisville is picking up steals and offensive boards all over the place right now. Despite a nice lead, I'm seeing a lot of the danger signs of sloppy first half play for the third game in a row.

6:36 Jermaine Dixon breathes on Terrence Williams the wrong way and gets called for a foul. This refs are calling a lot, a LOT of fouls right now. If this keeps us, there are going to be a fair amount of players on both teams in trouble.

6:40
Pitt has let the Ville back into this game, it's 23-17 as we head to a media timeout with 7:57 remaining. Too much sloppiness for Pitt after the red-hot start that no one actually saw. Ville is on a 10-3 run right now.

6:44 The refs appear to have wagered heavily, very heavily on Louisville, as Sam Young gets his second foul and is likely done for the half. Then, a Louisville player commits aggravated assault on Levance Fields and nothing gets called.

6:47 DeJuan Blair gets his second foul at the same time the ref's shirt gets untucked to reveal Cardinal Red underneath. What a bunch of B.S. Louisville takes their first lead of the game, but having 8 men on the court (including the refs) will do that.

6:50 After watching Gary McGhee play defense like he's missing a chromosome, I've determined Pitt would be better off playing with 4 men on the floor then with 4 and Mcghee.

6:55 Please God can Pitt learn to shoot free throws one of these F-ing years? Ashton Gibbs clanks two critical ones and Pitt is down 3 right now, 29-26.

6:58 Louisville is pwning Pitt on their offensive glass. I've never seen Pitt get shoved around like this on the glass. Of course DeJuan and Sammy haven't played in like an hour, so that might have something to do with it. I'd like to think we could at least hang with them though. I guess not.

7:03 And that's a half... Pitt surprisingly is up 32-30. If you had told me Sam and DeJuan would miss huge chunks of the first half with foul trouble I would not have expected to be up on Louisville at the half. So I'll take that, at least. Back for the second half.
SECOND HALF
7:20 We are back and the its good to see Sam and DeJuan back in the ball game. I'm nervous as to how the Cardinals are going to attack the foul-ridden Panthers. Biggs immediately picks up a foul, his 3rd, and this alarming stat is dropped on us: 6 PANTHERS HAD 2 FOULS AT HALFTIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey dumbass refs, I think you may be calling a shade too many fouls!

7:24 DeJuan Blair is making his presence felt right now. He picks up an offensive board and dunks it in traffic and then next possession down grabs another offensive board and gets a foul called against the Cards for a reach-in.

7:26 Panthers are on a mini-run, a 7-0 stretch capped by a Sam Young trey. The anouncers celebrate it by making a weird reference implying that they went out drinking with Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat last night. Sounds like a grand old time.

7:31 Our first Sam Young shot fake of the evening. Man I was way off! I had 6:25 in the poll. Anyway it sets up a Jermaine Dixon trey, his third of the night. If Dixon can keep up the great work on threes he could turn into a real weapon and give them the one thing they are really lacking.

7:32 Crap. DeJuan picks up his 3rd foul on a silly reach-in. He heads to the bench. Gil comes back down the court on the next possession and picks up HIS third foul. Biggs, Blair, and Brown all have three now. Not good folks, not at all good.

7:35 Sam does a double ball/head fake. That's like the unicorn of Sam Young fakes. We just saw a truly special moment. of course he celebrates by turning the ball over almost immediately after.

7:36 Biggs is freaking OWNING the offensive glass. He is a tremendous inside role guy and continues to do his season-long impression of Chevy Troutman. Sam hits a banker after Biggsy gets those 2 offensive boards. 46-39 Panthers. Timeout Ville.

7:38 Okay this can't possibly be right, but ESPN is telling me that Tim Frye played in the first half of the game. Uhmm... What? The same Tim Frye who is the stereotypical short walk-on white guard who plays only in the final minute of blowouts? I mean I know Pitt was in foul trouble, but that can't be right can it? There's no way I could have missed that, right?

7:43 Sam makes a great steal but can't control as he is racing downcourt and tosses one to Dixon who tosses it to Fields who, clearly trying to look elsewhere for a fancy pass or something, lets it slip out of bounds. Bad job by Levance who sometimes will do things like that to drive you crazy. The Cardinals come down and score to make it 46-42.

7:44 Jermaine Dixon is having a spectacular day. he snatches a rebound, outlets to Levance who races upcourt and somehow Jermaine makes it all the way back up court and takes a bounce pass from Fields for a layup. This kid is turning into a legit offensive weapon all of a sudden, and I, for one, am stunned by his exponential upward progress. I guess he just needed to get comfortable or something, but he's been great. 48-42 Panthers

7:47 DeJuan Blair comes back in. I will be watching closely to see how Louisville attacks him and how he responds. Just as I type this, Sam makes an easy steal and puts in an absolute monster dunk on a breakaway. He walks menacingly away from the hoop looking like he's ready to run through a brick wall or something. The boy is fired up.

7:50 I haven't mentioned this yet, but Jamie Dixon is employing Brad Wanamaker in a point guard role to bring the ball up against the Louisville press. I'm not sure why exactly he's doing this, but he is doing a tremendous job at it.

7:51 DeJuan picks up his 4th on a ticky-tack 4th foul. It wasn't much of anything, but Blair took an unnecessary chance and paid the price. The kid still needs to learn.

7:53 All of a sudden Louisville is only down by a point as Pitt spends three straight defensive possessions crapping themselves and taking dumb shots on offense. I don't get how they can fall apart so quick when Blair comes out of the game like that. Grrr.... Pitt had a 10 point lead at one point. I had a feeling the Cards would work their way back into this sucker, but I didn't think that THIS would happen, especially so quickly.

7:55 Bill Raftery gives us what we wanted all day... a little parody for Sam Young's earlier dunk, shouting, "Send it in... Jerome!"

7:58 Blazing hot Jermaine Dixon drills a pair of free throws, Pitt is up by 3. He now has 18 points on the night. I have a done a total 180 on this kid in the past week or two.

8:01 A monster dunke for Louisville and this sucker is tied up. Yikes. We head into the last media timeout 58-58. They just showed the replay of the dunk and Gil Brown had an alarming petrified look on his face. Not what I want to see there Gil.

8:06 Levance Fields gets called for a foul that I think the Louisville fans made from the first row. Especially because the ref clearly signalled double foul at first and then pretended like he didn't. What f-ing garbage. Such a homer call. Cardinals are up because of this homerism.

8:08 Biggs makes a god-awful pass to Blair. Just a terrible idea. 19 turnovers for Pitt today as they are playing crazy sloppy right now.

8:11 Here we go, 1:07 to go in this puppy. It's gonna be a fight. 62-58 Cardinals right now.

8:12 Clark hits a monster shot as the shot clock expired. Not sure if its a 2 or 3, the refs are reviewing. I think its a 2 though. Yup it is. Shit. 64-58 Louisville. Pitt is hanging on by a thread, if that. The worst part is Clark hopping around like an idiot afterward. I hate that.

8:14 For some bizarre reason, after Louisville grabs a rebound after another missed 3 for Pitt, the Panthers take about 10 seconds to foul a Cardinal player. Just sloppy and not wanting it enough.

8:17 Truely bizarre, DeJuan Blair gets fouled as he goes to score and the bucket is good. Pitt down 66-62. Pitt may not have the best odds right now, but at least they still have some odds...

8:19 Louisville hits both free throws to go up 68-63. It's over now. Oh, and then Sam Young makes an awful inbound pass and Blair fouls out trying to get the ball back. Ugh.

8:22 Yup that's a wrap, 69-63 Cardinals. Pitt drops its first game of the season. I don't think I'll be doing another one of these anytime soon. Sorry Panthers for jinxing you guys. Still, it was a very good effort, and kind of a weird game filled with lots of runs and streaks. I'll be interested to see where we rank come Monday morning.

2 comments:

SportsBiz said...

For what it's worth, I thought you did a nice job on the live blog. I was at the game and, while you were a tad Pitt biased as to be expected, you captured the flavor of the game, if not the emotion of the building.

I don't think Pitt played poorly; the Cards played well and are on a roll, as confirmed by today's win at the 'Cuse. Pitt's win at WVa shows that there were no long-term repercussions from the loss either. It's going to be a long slog through the Big East and I doubt anyone goes undefeated. I just don't want the Cards to have to play Pitt in the tourney AGAIN this year.

Great job with the blog by the way and thanks for the link. You're linked up as well.

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