Now that I’ve gotten a chance to catch my breath, here are some of the highlights from Petersen Events Center on Sunday night, as the Panthers and their coaches watched the NCAA Tournament selection show from the Campus View Club.
The players, coaches and their families packed the club room on the third floor of the Pete to learn their NCAA destination.
The biggest applause, obviously, came early in the CBS’s Selection Sunday show when the Panthers were named as a No. 1 seed for the first time in history, and later, when Pitt drew East Tennessee State in the East Region.
But the show garnered some other reactions from the team, which watched from seats in front of an elevated large-screen TV.
Some of the biggest groans and yelps came when Arizona – a big-time bubble team – was revealed early in the show as a No. 12 seed in the Midwest Region.
The Panthers also reacted when the brackets showed their buddies from Robert Morris – the players are good friends from pick-up games and summer leagues – had drawn Michigan State, the team that knocked Pitt out of last year’s tournament.
But perhaps the most puzzled reaction came when CBS remote camera showed the West Virginia players awaiting their tournament bid. When West Virginia was revealed as the No. 6 seed in the Midwest, a half dozen Mountaineers sitting in the front row kicked their feet in the air and seemed to ride an imaginary bicycle. The unanimous reaction from the Pitt players – and just about everyone else in the room — was “What the heck was that?”
Yesterday was freshman forward Nasir Robinson’s 20th birthday and there was a big cake reading “Happy Birthday Nasir” in the Campus View Club. But as the players filed out of the room to meet with the coaches and talk about East Tennessee State, only about one-quarter – if that – of the cake had been claimed. Clearly, the coaches and players have other things on their mind than eating birthday cake.