ESPN flashed a statistic on the screen this morning that I thought was very interesting. Pitt is the 12th No. 1 seed to beat a No. 16 seed by 10 points or fewer. None of those previous 11 No. 1 seeds went on to win a national championship.
I dug deeper into the NCAA record book and found out that only two of those teams advanced to the Final Four and one to the national title game. Here are the end results for those teams that had narrow escapes against No. 16 seeds in the first round:
*Michigan lost in the second round to Villanova in 1985
*St. John’s lost in the second round to Auburn in 1986
* Duke lost in the national championship game in 1986
*Illinois lost in a national semifinal game in 1989
*Georgetown lost in the Elite Eight in 1989;
*Oklahoma lost in the Sweet 16 in 1989
* Michigan State lost in the Sweet 16 in 1990
* Oklahoma lost in the second round in 1990
*Purdue lost in the second round in 1996
* Connecticut lost in the Sweet 16 in 1996
*North Carolina lost in a national semifinal game in 1997.
Pitt went through a walk-through this morning and the Panthers reported no major injuries. Jermaine Dixon turned his ankle against East Tennessee State, but he said he would be good to go against Oklahoma State. Levance Fields said once again that his groin is fine and was not a reason for his sub-standard play against East Tennessee State.
Oklahoma State center Marshall Moses is only averaging about seven points per game, but he had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the first-round victory over Tennessee. In talking to some of the writers who cover Oklahoma State, Moses either plays a great game or a lousy game.
Moses had 16 points and 12 rebounds in Oklahoma State’s loss to Missouri in the Big 12 tournament. In the previous game against Oklahoma – a 71-70 win for the Cowboys – Moses did not score, had one rebound and fouled out.