Pittsburgh Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Pittsburgh Panthers
Big East (24-8, 12-6)

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Pittsburgh started off the season pretty quietly.  No one saw how good they were until they had won enough games to be a member of the weekly rankings.  They have since ended up teetering back-and-forth between ranked and unranked.  Still Jamie Dixon has the Panthers a tough out as usual in the Big East.  Another season with at least 10 conference wins sets them up for a solid NCAA tournament.  They never really challenged for the Big East crown, but they got their licks in when it was time to boost their resume.  Pittsburgh will not go away easily.

Big Wins: 1/8 at Georgetown (73-45), 2/2 Syracuse (65-55), 2/9 at Cincinnati (62-52)
Bad Losses: 12/31 Cincinnati (61-70), 1/5 at Rutgers (62-67), 2/18 Notre Dame (42-51)
Coach: Jamie Dixon (10 seasons at Pittsburgh)

Why They Can Surprise:
The Panthers are fundamentally sound in a lot of areas.  They rank first in the Big East in rebound margin and scoring defense.  They are a top ten team in holding opponents to low point totals (55 per game).  Forget trying to shoot threes against them.  Teams shoot less than 30 percent from outside against them.  As an offense, they themselves take high-percentage shots and have terrific success shooting the ball.  They constantly find the open man with the best look (eighth in the country in assists per game).  They do not really have one stand-out superstar either, which creates a great team performance.  No player in particular stands out statistically in the Big East as any sort of threat to take over a game.  In some ways, that does not benefit Pittsburgh as every team needs a go-to guy.  But as a team, Pittsburgh finds a way to get it done.  That is a valuable asset come March tournament time.  Most importantly, Pittsburgh does not turn the ball over.  At just under 11 per game, they are one of the stingiest teams in the country at giving up the ball.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Like many of their counterparts in the Big East, Pittsburgh does not put many points on the board despite their strong field-goal percentage.  They only have two starters that average double-digits in scoring.  Eventually they will find a team that they are going to have to try and score with.  Someone other than Tray Woodall is going to have to step up and take over for a game or two.  Bench production is going to be key for them come tournament time.  They are going to have to do a better job at shooting the three-point shot.  As well as they do at stopping opponents from making shots, they have a tough time draining any themselves.  They average under five three-pointers per game.  Much like the rest of the conference, Pittsburgh needs to shoot better from the foul line.  At 66.7 percent, they are striking fear into no one near the end of a game.

Probable Starters:
Tray Woodall, Senior, Guard, 11.8 ppg, 5,2 apg, 2.5 rpg
Lamar Patterson, Junior, Forward, 10.0 ppg, 2.9 apg, 4.4 rpg
Talib Zanna, Junior, Forward, 9.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg
James Robinson, Freshman, Guard, 6.1 ppg, 3.5 apg, 2.2 rpg
Steven Adams, Freshman, Center, 7.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.0 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Trey Zeigler, Junior, Guard-Forward, 4.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Dante Taylor, Senior, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
J.J. Moore, Junior, Forward, 8.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Cameron Wright, Sophomore, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 1.1 apg
Durand Johnson, Freshman, Forward, 4.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.9 (111th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 55.2 (6, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.9 (15, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.0 (28, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.0 (289, 11)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.2 (72, 3)
Free-Throw Percentage: 66.7 (256, 12)
Rebound Margin: 6.9 (13, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.7 (8, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.9 (14, 1)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
Pittsburgh    2012    CBI        Quarterfinal win over Princeton
Pittsburgh    2012    CBI        Semifinal win over Butler
Pittsburgh    2012    CBI        Final loss to Washington State
Pittsburgh    2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over NC-Asheville
Pittsburgh    2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Butler
Pittsburgh    2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Oakland
Pittsburgh    2010    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Xavier
Pittsburgh    2009    NCAA    Round of 64 win over East Tennessee State
Pittsburgh    2009    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Oklahoma State
Pittsburgh    2009    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Xavier
Pittsburgh    2009    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Villanova
Pittsburgh    2008    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Oral Roberts
Pittsburgh    2008    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to Michigan State

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules