DeJuan Blair (15.6 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 1 BPG
Hasheem Thabeet (13.6 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 4.5 BPG)
In the biggest game of the season @ UCONN on February 16, 2009, Blair had 22 points ‚Äì 23 rebounds compared to Thabeet who had 5 points ‚Äì 4 rebounds. That alone should have given Blair a slight edge in the voting. Thabeet is a dominating force on the defensive side of the ball but you could possibly make an even stronger argument for Pittburgh‚Äôs Sam Young and Louisville‚Äôs Terrence Williams for Big East Player of the year honors.
Pitt shouldn‚Äôt win the Big East Tournament?
Pitt has already locked up a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and in the past it has been believed that the team values the Big East Tournament more than the NCAA Tournament. That is no longer the case as the team has its sights set on a final four run but any talk about it being a good thing if Pitt gets knocked out in the second round of the Big East Tournament is ridiculous. The Panthers aren‚Äôt expected to play until Friday in the NCAA Tournament and they will be getting a #16 seed which will be a warm up game for them. Looking ahead would be the wrong way to approach this tournament and don‚Äôt expect the Panthers to do that
Three Big East teams to receive #1 seeds?
UCONN and Pitt are believed to be locks. What about Louisville who are the #1 seed in the Big East Tournament? For Louisville to get a #1 seed they will have to win the Big East Tournament which is a possibility as Pitt and UCONN will likely play each other in the semi‚Äôs. To push them over the top they need to beat UCONN who beat them by double figures in the regular season.
Pitt expected to open up in Dayton
A lot of projections have Pitt in the MidWest Indianapolis Bracket and would begin first, second round play in Dayton.
Many experts believe North Carolina would be Pitt‚Äôs toughest matchup if the two teams were to meet in the final four. Pitt gets the edge in a Blair ‚Äì Hansbrough matchup. Where Pitt would be exposed is in the backcourt. Pitt has struggled with athletic backcourts and that is one area that North Carolina would give the Panthers trouble. Could North Carolina have an answer for the Blair/Young tandem?
The matchup that I would like to see is Pittsburgh and Oklahoma. Blair vs Griffin
Big East Finals Prediction
Pitt vs Louisville