Pittsburgh Men's Basketball 2016 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Pittsburgh Panthers
ACC (21-11, 9-9)
Pittsburgh certainly had some of the same offensive woes that sent them to the NIT last year, but games like that were less common during the 2015-2016 campaign. Scoring 50 points against Virginia is understandable, but being held to 41 points against Louisville was a low point for the Panthers. Every game Pitt won, they scored at least 66 points. Until the conference tournament loss to North Carolina, Every game they lost, they were held to 64 points or fewer. So their postseason success will all come down to the offense and whether or not they are having a good day or not.
Big Wins: 1/9 at Notre Dame (86-82), 2/20 at Syracuse (66-52), 2/28 Duke (76-62)
Bad Losses: 1/19 NC State (61-78), 1/27 at Clemson (60-73), 3/2 at Virginia Tech (61-65)
Coach: Jamie Dixon
Why They Can Surprise:
The Panthers defense is solid across the board. They rank second in the ACC in rebounding margin and 130th in the country in total blocked shots. The deep frontcourt is led by Michael Young and Jamel Artis. Young averages 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists on the year. Young spends a lot of time at the free-throw line and he is very, very effective from the stripe. On those occasions the offense is struggling, finding Young in the paint should be the answer. He has had a great year in part due to the size that is around him. Artis is a big 6-7, 220 pound small forward who can knock down three-pointers and battle in the paint. Rafael Maia, a transfer from Brown, adds toughness on the glass and Sheldon Jeter and Ryan Luther are more than capable of playing major minutes. Jeter has been quite effective this season despite playing fewer than 19 minutes per game.
Why They Can Disappoint:
When scoring is an issue, the backcourt usually gets the blame. James Robinson is a great player though and he deserves a lot of credit for how well this Pitt team shares the ball and how well they take care of the ball. On top of that, he averages 10.3 points, 5.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game. The problem is Robinson is not a great shooter and neither is off-guard Chris Jones, although both have certainly had some very good shooting outings throughout the season. But that allows the opposition to crowd the paint and stop the slashers and big men. That can even make getting the ball into Young tough and when that happens Pitt is in trouble. Sterling Smith is a shooting option off of the bench and is always dangerous, but he is averaging just 4.6 points per game.
Probable Starters:
James Robinson, Senior, Guard, 10.3 ppg, 5.0 apg, 2.9 rpg, 1.2 spg
Chris Jones, Junior, Guard, 6.1 ppg, 1.4 apg, 2.1 rpg
Jamel Artis, Junior, Forward, 14.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.0 apg
Michael Young, Junior, Forward, 16.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.4 apg
Rafael Maia, Senior, Center, 2.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Key Roleplayers:
Sheldon Jeter, Junior, Forward, 8.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg,
Ryan Luther, Sophomore, Forward, 5.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Sterling Smith, Senior, Guard, 4.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.3 (100th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.1 (63, 6)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (79, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.0 (151, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (242, 8)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.4 (178, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.9 (14, 2)
Rebound Margin:  8.1 (16, 2)
Assists Per Game:  17.2 (12, 2)
Turnovers Per Game:  11.7 (79, 10)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NIT      First Round loss to George Washington
2014    NCAA Second Round win over Colorado
2014    NCAA Third Round loss to Florida
2013    NCAA Second Round loss to Wichita State
2012    CBI      First Round win over Wofford
2012    CBI      Quarterfinal win over Princeton
2012    CBI      Semifinal win over Butler
2012    CBI      Final loss to Washington State
2011    NCAA Round of 64 win over NC-Asheville
2011    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Butler
2010    NCAA Round of 64 win over Oakland
2010    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Xavier
2009    NCAA Round of 64 win over East Tennessee State
2009    NCAA Round of 32 win over Oklahoma State
2009    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Xavier
2009    NCAA Regional Final loss to Villanova
2008    NCAA Round of 64 win over Oral Roberts
2008    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Michigan State
2007    NCAA Round of 64 win over Wright State
2007    NCAA Round of 32 win over VCU
2007    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to UCLA
*all team stats through 3/6