|Syracuse students agree: playing Pitt on a neutral court is way better than at the Pete.|
With its win in the Second Round of the Big East Tournament over Seton Hall, Syracuse earned a right to move onto the quarterfinals to play Pittsburgh. The Panthers, who with the #4 seed get the double bye to Thursday, have been off since Saturday. They carry a four-game winning streak into this game, along with the confidence of already having beaten Syracuse once this season. But that was a home game at the Peterson Events Center back on February 2. This will not be another Groundhog's Day -- especially because all of us in the Northeast know how dead ass wrong that groundhog was this year. Pitt's player to watch is Tray Woodall, who leads the team with 11.7 points per game and 5.3 assists per game and pretty much owned Syracuse earlier this season. In meaningless historical stats, Pitt has won 14 of the last 18 games against Syracuse, while Pitt has lost the last three times they have had the double bye in the Big East Tournament. For Syracuse, James Southerland needs to keep the hot hand, with the help from CJ Fair and a rejuvenated Brandon Triche. A Syracuse team that can score is a Syracuse team that can win. I actually see this as one of the most evenly matched games of Championship Week, and it'll come down to who has the ability to make the bigger plays down the stretch. The winner of this game earns a spot in the semifinals against the winner of Thursday's noon game between Georgetown and Cincinnati. Pitt-Syracuse follows that, in the neighborhood of 2:30pm on ESPN, ESPN3, and the WatchESPN app if it's not being crappy again. In a tight one that could potentially go into overtime, Syracuse wins by four points.