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PITT vs XAVIER
We are down to just 16 left in the NCAA tournament!
Although there havenít really been any real upsets that the tournament has become famous for, there have been some very close calls with some of the top seeds in the tourney barely getting to the third round.
Coming into this tournament I thought Pittsburgh was on their way to a National championship, but after they almost got upset in the first round by East Tennessee State and struggled against Oklahoma State the Panthers arenít looking like the team to beat anymore at least in their region.
UConn and North Carolina on the other hand have just dominated the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament and seemed to be headed towards a head to head battle of the best in the National championship game.
In the meantime though there are plenty of very good teams in the final 16 which could be legit contenders to UNC and UConn. The Louisville Cardinals, Memphis Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners all have a solid shot and making a push to be National champs. The Syracuse Orangemen also have an outside chance of making something happen if they can contain superstar Sooners forward Blake Griffin in their Sweet 16 match up.
Even though I do believe Pitt no longer has what it takes to go all the way they are definitely good enough to make it to at least the Elite Eight. The chance of an upset for Pitt in the third round is pretty good as long as they limit the Panthers top two players in Young and Blair.
Although I think DeJuan Blair and company will advance to the Elite Eight, Xavier will definitely look to capitalize on Pitt painfully obvious faults in the Sweet 16. The Musketeers were able to take down the Wisconsin Badgers in the second round with some impressive defense in their 60-49 victory, but they will have their defense tested in the Sweet 16 going up against Sam Young and DeJuan Blair.
The Panthers have been anything, but impressive in the NCAA tournament so far, but despite avoiding an upset loss in both rounds one and two Young and Blair have come up big to close out their last two opponents.
Blair was a beast in the paint against East Tennessee State with a game high 27 points and 16 rebounds which was pretty much the difference maker. Sam Young was the hero for Pitt in the second round picking up the slack with 32 points and eight rebounds as the Panthers were able to hold off the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
The Musketeers will try and expose the Panthers problems, especially with their guard play which I think is Pittís Achilles heel, but the Pittsburgh Panthers will advance to the next round due to Xavierís match up problems with Young and Blair.
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