1. Pitt basketball Upsets #11 Virginia 88-76 (OT)-Really? Was that the Pitt Panthers basketball team that we know and love flexing their muscles on not just one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s (ACC) top teams, but one of the nations?? Yes, it was. So, what if it took overtime, unlike the week before, they finally put a team away and I was very impressed.
  2. But to be honest, the same old ‘song’ still stands: If Pitt would’ve put their last 2 teams away I regulation, then there would not have been a reason for Overtime. But one win out of 2 vs. those ranked teams aren’t bad. And when did they become such a 3-point shooting team? They made 13-21 in that game, including six by the new ‘Rifleman’ (sorry Chuck Person) G Jamel Artis who gave Pitt a much-needed lift, especially in OT.
  3. I also love it when F Sheldon Jeter lets loose, which he did with 16 points and three 3-pointers. Of course, G Cameron Johnson also get it done behind the arc with 4 threes of his own, good enough for 16 points as well.
  4. I think this type of victory should be enough to show Pitt what they can do if they keep fighting. But it’s just the beginning for them as they will take on Syracuse on Saturday, and then #9 Louisville on Wednesday. That’ll really show just how serious Pitt is.
  5. So now the Panthers are 12-3 (1-1 ACC) and could crack the Top 25 on Monday, but they could also just receive some votes, which I am cool with.
  6. As for the rest of college basketball, the Villanova Wildcats are undefeated no more after falling to Butler 66-58. Hey, it’s a Big East game so that rematch will be awesome. But the defending National Champions will still be ranked #1. No other team out there can dethrone them right now.
  7. I was sorry to hear that South Florida terminated HC Orlando Antigua this week. Apparently, there’s some academic violations going on and his name is part of it. I went to Pitt with Orlando back in 1991 and I hope he gets back on his feet and the school gets through these issues. And of course, that includes the kids.
  8. As for college football, there’s not much left to say about the Pitt Panthers as it’s been a week since they fell to Northwestern 31-24, except that I hope they’ve learned their lesson after underestimating a 6-6 team, because they were 6-6.
  9. Do I mean that? Yes, I do. That wasn’t the Pitt team that upset #2 Clemson and blew out Duke and Syracuse. No, that was the team that played flat and lost to the other teams in their 2016 season. That was a Pitt team that kind of said “We know we’re good and this game is in the bag.”
  10. Yes, RB James Conner and QB Nate Peterman’s concussions hurt the team, but the truth was, Pitt wasn’t hungry. 3 trips inside the red zone and only produce 3 points?? Conner getting stopped on 4th down and Peterman throwing an end-zone interception?? And no true Quadree Henderson ‘jet-sweeps?’ Come on now. Yes, the defense had their struggles as they gave up over 200 rushing yards, but if the offense was on point, they would’ve won that game. End of story.
  11. Speaking of those Panthers, the focus is on the 2017 season as they will officially welcome their Mid-year additions on Friday. Those additions will include USC Transfer QB Max Browne, DL Deslin Alexandra, Australian punter Kirk Christodoulou, OL Jerry Drake and QB Kenny Pickett. Should be an interesting class to go along with the class of 2017.
  12. Alabama meets Clemson in the CFB National Championship-I guess I’m a bit surprised that Clemson is there. Not to say they aren’t a good team, but just the fact that they put away an Ohio State team so easily. Maybe OSU underestimated the Tigers. After all, Pitt beat them. But that doesn’t really matter. What does matter was those Tigers were prepared to play in that playoff and OSU wasn’t.
  13. Now onto the NFL as it’s now playoff season. 16 teams will fight for the Vince Lombardi trophy and one of them are the AFC North-Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who will play Wild Card Miami Dolphins Sunday at 1pm at Heinz Field. I think we will see a different Steelers team than the ones who embarrassed themselves in a 30-15 loss earlier in the season.
  14. For once, the Steelers will have all their offensive weapons as RB Le’Veon Bell will finally play in his first playoff game, as well as a healthy QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown. That will make a difference, home or away.
  15. I think if the Steelers are in attack-mode, and punch the Dolphins in the mouth early and often, then they will win. They can’t start off slow and sloppy. And I don’t care who the Dolphins QB is. They have a decent running game with rookie Jay Ajai (who ran for over 200 yards vs. the Steelers) and a decent pass rush lead by DE Cameron Wake and DT Ndamukong Suh. So, the offensive line (led by a healthy C Maurkise Pouncey) better have their ‘A’ game.
  16. As for the defense, well if they would just learn how to tackle someone and not go for the big hit (right Mike Mitchell?) then they will play well. They will also get DE Stepheon Tuitt back and the speed of Lbs Ryan Shazier, Bug Dupree and 39-year old James Harrison could spell trouble for QB Matt Moore. But they better not underestimate him and give him time to throw.
  17. Speaking of Bell, he got a huge honor as he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month. In December/January, Bell led the NFL with 569 rushing yards and 748 total yards from scrimmage. Not bad at all. He’s the first to win this award since WR Antonio Brown won it in December/January 2015.
  18. As for the rest of the Wild Card Round games: In the other AFC game, I can see Oakland beating Houston. In the NFC, I can see Seattle beating Detroit and Green Bay beating the Giants. Should be fun.
  19. As for the NBA, apparently, no one’s criticizing the Golden State Warriors who’re now an NBA-best 31-5. They just needed to get their chemistry together with Kevin Durant, but it didn’t take long. It never does with great teams.
  20. In the MLB, the Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly in trade talks for Chicago White Sox P Jose Quintana. The Houston Astros are also in the mix and you can bet that it involves OF Andrew McCutchen in some way. If trade talks meant wins, then the Pirates would win their first World Series since 1979.

 

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

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