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Wednesday Wakeup Call: Oh, what a night

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

SALT LAKE CITY – Morning, lunatics …

>> The Wednesday column wonders if Jamie Dixon isn’t being a bit too easy on himself about all these NCAA Tournament failures.

I’m out here with the Panthers for as long as they keep playing. They’ll have media sessions for all Salt Lake Regional teams this afternoon, then tipoff for the Panthers and Wichita State is tomorrow at 1:40 p.m.

Here’s a brief chat with Talib Zanna, a personal favorite on this club …

Really looking forward to this. My first NCAA.

>> Meanwhile, back home … wow.


I suppose a cynic would suggest that some perspective is due with what happened between Robert Morris and Kentucky last night at the Sewall Center, like how the Colonials were a couple NEC tourney wins shy of being a good 14th or 15th seed in NCAAs, and how Kentucky was a shadow of its 2011-12 team and legitimately was left out of the NCAAs … but cynicism doesn’t mix well with something like that.

Congratulations to Andy Toole (hail and farewell, too, I’d imagine, with all the calls he’ll get), as well as his staff and the student-athletes who made it happen.

They say everything happens for a reason. Well, this was why the Colonials didn’t win the NEC.

>> And across town, pretty much simultaneously, as best as I could gauge from my Delta Airlines wi-fi during the flight, another team in town brought you wow times 10 …


More solid defense, goaltending and penalty-killing remained the recipe. And, in the spirit of continuing that cynicism theme at least a little, one would certainly hope Evgeni Malkin’s return doesn’t alter that for the Penguins. It can’t be any coincidence that this six-game run of allowing six goals came exactly with Malkin being out. He has not been good in his own end, reckless with the puck most everywhere.

That said, a 10-game winning streak is never to go underappreciated. Hats (and monkeys) off to Dan Bylsma, his staff and all of their student-athletes, too. Tremendous show after a shaky start.

>> Here again was yesterday’s TribLIVE Radio show podcast, featuring my guests, James Robinson of Pitt and the Trib’s Penguins beat man, Josh Yohe.

And this was video of the opening segment on the Steelers …

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Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

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