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28 March 2009

Villanova duels Pitt for Final Four trip

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
3/28/2009 01:01:00 PM
#11 Villanova (29-7) vs. #4 Pitt (31-4)
7:05 p.m., 28 March 2009 at the TD Banknorth Garden.


Line: Pitt -2

Villanova clashes with a very familiar opponent today in Boston for a Final Four berth.

The top-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers have won 31 games, and were ranked #4 in the country in the last AP poll. But Villanova beat Pitt last time, and that was before the Wildcats began to look like a top-5 team during their recent tournament run.

There's not much to write about this game that hasn't already been said. Villanova and Pittsburgh are both tough, defense-oriented teams with penchants for physical play.

Unlike its last three games against American, UCLA, and Duke, Villanova will probably be at a disadvantage on the interior tonight, facing Big East player of the year Dejuan Blair.

The Wildcats will have to make up for Pitt's edge down low by using their superior scoring guards and athletic running game. A key player tonight will be Dwayne Anderson, and his ability to score whether or not his three-point shot is falling.

Corey Fisher will need to get to the rim, even if Blair is patrolling the key. Scottie Reynolds will need to bear some of the Wildcat scoring load. Dante Cunningham will have probably the toughest task of all, containing Blair on one end and scoring on the other.

Pittsburgh is a tall order and a legitimate top-5 team nationwide, but the Wildcats are arguably the hottest team in the NCAA tournament. While the Panthers have largely struggled their way to the Elite 8, Villanova has absolutely demolished its last two opponents, with slaughters of ranked UCLA and Duke.

KenPom predicts a 2-point victory for the Panthers, giving Villanova a 40 percent chance for the win.

Oddsmakers installed Pitt as a 2.5 favorite on Friday, but the line has dropped to 2 points as of Saturday afternoon.

Check out the other Villanova blogs linked at right for their previews, and then try to predict the game's final score in the comment thread below.

The winner of this game will take on the winner of North Carolina and Oklahoma in Detroit's national semifinal next Saturday.

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At 1:44 PM, March 28, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

Villanova 66
Pitt 61

At 4:11 PM, March 28, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May the cheers tonight from Philly be heard from coast to coast

Nova 70
Pitt 65


Class of 1985

At 7:16 PM, March 28, 2009, Anonymous Gregg said...


At 9:07 PM, March 28, 2009, Anonymous Gregg said...

Blair and Young refuse to miss.

At 9:31 PM, March 28, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an amazing game.

At 9:36 PM, March 28, 2009, Anonymous Gregg said...


At 9:38 PM, March 28, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

super proud of this program, this tradition, and our fans; what a game!!!!!!!!


At 10:01 PM, March 28, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best damn College Basketball game since Cats - Western Kentucky National Semis 1971.

At 10:03 PM, March 28, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulation Nova fans! Your guys are playing great!
I love watching them.

From a Louisville fan

At 1:32 AM, March 29, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

party like it's 1985- campus must be f#^%&*g bonkers by now...


At 2:22 AM, March 29, 2009, Anonymous IMKL said...




At 4:30 AM, March 29, 2009, Blogger Pete @ LetsGoNova.com said...

johnny -- posted a link to video from campus in the next post, the recap & grades.


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