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Syracuse 59, Pitt 54

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to tipoff ..

Game: No. 22 Pitt (16-1, 4-0 ACC) vs. No. 2 Syracuse (17-0, 4-0)

Time: 4:10 p.m.

Site: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.

TV, radio: ESPN, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Pitt pageKevin Gorman is on the scene.

And here again is the Friday column looking ahead to the matchup.

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.


  1. And now, as the Pitt basketball team prepares for what is likely its toughest game of the season, allow me to ask why some major league baseball players are being paid 6 times this season what they were paid last season.

  2. I would certainly hope that the efforts by major league baseball to expand instant replay will work as well in practice as they might on paper.

  3. Yeah, they’ll have 5-hour long games now like football.

    DK: College, not the NFL.

  4. Wild Bill says:

    There’s at least a chance there might be time savings by the ending of useless arguments and dirt kicking by managers!

  5. Drew71 says:

    The best thing about retro ballparks and the end of AstroTurf?

    The Return of Dirt.

    Earl Weaver’s Revenge.

  6. You’re right Bill. Now they can be childish by arguing about the replay instead of with the umpire on the field.

    One of my co-workers umpires baseball and refs football and basketball. You should hear some of the stories of how these coaches handle game situations. Great examples for the young folks they’re coaching.

    And it carries over to pro sports. Shame they have to wait until they’re broadcasters or color analysts to grow up.

  7. Suppose there was an equipment malfunction in the midst of a ball game. And what about extra innings?

  8. Arriba Wilver says:

    On the other hand, we have John Russell . . . .


  9. hockeymonster says:

    Pitt have a shot agaynst syracuse? This is normally when i’d start paying attention to pitt but college sports has so much slime on it these days that its become kind of a turnoff.

    Is there enough moonshine in the state of kentucky to disinfect the louisville program?…etc etc….

  10. Pitt forward Cam Wright considers Pitt’s being ranked no. 22 “a slap in the face”, although you’d think, all things considered, that that’s to be expected at this time.

  11. JRay3 says:

    In a season where these Panthers continue to surprise some (not really sure how when Jamie Dixon is your leader and the track record he has put together), today provides us a monster tilt between the two best teams in the ACC. Ironically, just last year they were two of the best teams in the Big East. Taking a look at some numbers and metrics:

    RPI: 18/19
    SOS: 102/105 (that number is well in the top third of teams, and will get a huge boost today)
    KenPom Ranking: 7
    Sagarin Rating: 13
    Human Polls: 21/22
    Bracketology: #4 seed West by Jerry Palm, #5 seed Midwest by Joe Lunardi

    Pitt has the chance for that “signature” win so many analysts talk about, Pitt also has the chance to continue to improve their NCAA seeding as they are in position to have the opportunity to build towards a protected seed.

    Today’s game is one where the loss of Durand Johnson will be felt, as he was the one player who could get hot and melt a zone defense with his outside shooting alone.

    However, when looking at recent history and the success Jamie Dixon has had against a Hall of Famer in Jim Boeheim, should not be considered a surprise if these Panthers walk out of the Carrier Dome victorious, even if Vegas pegs them as 5 point underdogs.

    Biggest game on the hoops slate, lots of national coverage of this one, can’t wait. GO PITT!

  12. Arriba Wilver says:

    4:00 on ESPN is must see TV today.

    Neil Walker’s salary really shows the impact of Super 2 status. Good thing for him Neal H thought he was a utility player. Otherwise he’d never have been brought up that soon.

  13. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m disappointed Dejan is not at the game writing a column off this.

    I know he’s got the big trip to Russia and all in a few weeks, but his Pitt basketball columns in the past have been some of his finest efforts.

    DK: I appreciate that, John. Just didn’t work out. Deadline to finish extensive Olympics preview is tomorrow because of an unusual printing schedule for that section. That’s why I did the Pitt column advancing the game for Friday instead. (I’d originally penciled in pucks for that day.)

    I’ll be doing a ton more hoops as the season goes along, and I’m grateful for your interest in that.

  14. JohninOshkosh says:

    Go Pitt!!!

  15. Wild Bill says:

    From what I’ve heard, hm, they have a very good shot. I’m all for Pitt doing well, especially since my alma mater can’t get its basketball act together – the men, that is.

    I heard this week about an investigative report by Sara Ganim, regarding the poor academics of athletes. Haven’t found it yet cause I’ve been busy, but heard North Carolina really looks bad in it.

  16. Wild Bill says:

    I’d love to see the whole game, but I’m courtside announcing at the local high school tonight. Maybe see half and dvr the rest for later.

  17. Wild Bill says:

    My long deceased aunt was an Orioles fan. She used to love it when Earl went nuts and would say “Look at that little banty rooster go!” while laughing her head off.

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds like fun, WB.

  19. Arriba Wilver says:


  20. Wild Bill says:

    Most of the time it is, AW. Been doing it for seven years now, strictly as a volunteer. My way of giving back to the program that my daughters played in. It’s a really good way to pass the winter nights in a bright, warm place and the kids and their families seem to like it.

    Once in a while the fans or an occasional coach can be jerks. But that’s minimal.

  21. Bizrow says:

    • • Welcome Lunatics, if you don’t see your current location below, please add a reply to this post

    Dejan’s Lunatic Nation

    Afghanistan – skeetermc*
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    • Argentina, Buenos Aries
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    California – Bakersfield, San Francisco, UNION CITY, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Yuba City, Solana Beach, Yorba Linda, Yuba City*, Edwards*, Long Beach, Modesto, Davis, Santa Monica, Solana Beach, Canyon Country, Burbank, West Hills, Encino
    Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Moncton – New Brunswick, Ontario – Muskoka, Perth – home of the Ottowa RedBlacks
    China – Beijing
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    Colorado – Ft Collins, Estes Park*, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs
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    The Philippines
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina – Duncan, Longs, Columbia, Bluffton, Greensville, Charleston, North Charleston
    South Korea – Seoul, Mike
    Tennessee – Smithville, Nashville
    Texas – Tyler, San Antonio, Belton, Houston, Katy, Plano, El Paso, Cedar Park, Pleasanton
    United Kingdom – Haslemere
    Utah – Salt Lake City, Provo
    Vermont – North Bennington
    Virginia – JAL, Hampton, Rescue, Richmond, Front Royal, Woodbridge, Suffolk, Warrenton, Springfield*, Virginia Beach, Fairfax, Arlington, Yorktown, Henrico, Aldie, Manassas, Newport News, Clifton, Glen Allen, Roanoke, Vienna, Alexandria, Lynchburg
    Washington – Seattle, Nine Mile Falls, Spokane, Sammamish
    West Virginia – Martinsburg, Morgantown, Wheeling, Mt Olivet, Huntington, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, Grafton
    Wisconsin – Madison, Oshkosh, Hortonville
    Wyoming – Caspar, Lander
    Unknown – killa_cam7*
    443 confirmed locations represented in the blog, and a couple of strange places
    Lunatic Nation Hall of Fame, people that have, in our opinion, made a difference, either thru talent or character or deeds.
    Nominations are always welcome
    Any Allegheny, Pirate, Crawford, Gray, Steeler or Penguin player in the League’s Hall of Fame, although if Jagr makes it some day, we gotta talk
    Stan “The Man”, from Donora
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    The Great One, he stays regardless
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    First Responders***
    27 countries
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    Three planets, at least confirmed, and the Space Station
    Then there was that Cold day in Hell place
    Honorable mention, England – London – Lisa
    “Terrorists will always lose in America, the sooner they figure that out, the better”- truer words have never been spoken
    Asterisks denote confirmed hero’s, military, police officers or firemen/ladies
    • 1/18/2014 11:49 AM

  22. Now that we’ve all heard about the pathetically offbeat behavior and subsequent arrest of Davone Bess at an airport, we now have a better idea about what’s been troubling the Cleveland Browns these past recent years.

    DK: We need to get you an avatar, James. Try … it’s pretty easy, and it carries over to any forum you visit.

    Maybe the others can help you out if there’s a problem.

  23. hockeymonster says:

    Hypocrisy of coaches coming and going as they please while players cant get stipend during season when they cant get part time jobs is a joke. Then if someone buys them a burger they’re suspended. And if all the increased revenue in the world cant bring down tuition costs even a little bit…or at least keep them flat is nothing short of a scandal.

  24. Sisyphus says:

    You can’t find a way to criticize Huntington without bringing up that old lie?

  25. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt plays Syracuse and its basketball rich history today. Lets hope the ghosts of Derrick Coleman and Carmelo Anthony are busy shoveling some of that famous upstate snow. Pitt will have their hands full enough with CJ Flair.

    Don’t fear Otto the Orange!

    Well, I haven’t looked ahead in the schedule, but I doubt Pitt will face another institution with such an impressive, eclectic list of notable celebrity alums.

    The school is a preeminent broadcast journalism school. The list of alums in that field is a veritable who’s who of that field. Sadomasochist enthusiast, Marv “Yes!” Albert; Former Milwaukee anchorwoman and MSNBC hottie, Contessa Brewer; the great Joe Castiglione; Ed Coleman; Mr. Baseball, Bob Costas; Pirates fans certainly remember voice cracking Sean McDonough; the ancient Dick Stockton; MNF’s Jon Gruden foil, Mike Tirico; Dave Paasch; Alfred E. Nueman doppelganger Ted Koppel; 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft. Print journalist lion, the late William Safire, attended the school. Media mogul Dick Clark went there for God’s sake and majored in chronicling celebrity bloopers.

    A few notable novelists attended ‘Cuse, but Dejan has probably never heard of them: Steven Crane, Jay McInerney and Joyce Carol Oates (who got her masters at UW-Madison, btw).

    My favorite, as a lover of pop culture, the notable list from the entertainment field. The following were all once Orangemen and Orangeladies: Taye Diggs, ladies, attended Syracuse; Columbo himself, Peter Falk; the prolific Aaron Sorkin; Robocop Peter Weller patrolled the campus; Lisa Lampanelli learned all her naughty words while in upstate New York; the incomparable Suzanne Pleshette; Jerry Stiller (Frank Costanza!); and the seemingly ageless and preternaturally gorgeous Vanessa Williams.

    Also, just for Drew, the late, great Lou Reed walked his wild side youth on the Syracuse campus.

    If you attended Syracuse, be proud. The institution has contributed significantly to the Great Human Endeavor. But, now it’s time to lose !

    Oh, God and James Naismith intended that the sublime sport of basketball be played in gymnasiums, not reconstituted indoor football fields.

  26. Was perusing the interwebs a bit this morning and kind of came to a bit over a revelation. Talk for wheeler is probably a smoke screen. Player i’d be shooting for from DK’s 2nd city would be Ladd. Kane obviously appealing too but Ladd would be my target since he’ll probably cost less. He’s a plus player on a abysmal defensive team…atleast up to coaching change, signed at reasonable 4.4M number this season and next 2, ideal fit for sutter on 3rd line with more than enough speed n skill to move up to geno’s line(maybe even as soon as next season with or without jussi on roster) and if we do need to move a despres or pouliout for anyone i’d like it to be someone like Ladd who is signed sealed and delivered for next few seasons. We won’t get the next real deal for despres at this point but a solid top 9 player with Ladd’s resume wouldn’t hurt, at all! Then maybe you can shoot for Brad Boyes and/or Marcel Goc to fill out top 9 on the cheap and still maintain depth on d.

  27. Oh during said perusing, i may have discovered ground zero for pens perceived contempt towards despres. Ryan O’Reilly was taken 3 picks after despres. You think our issues in top 9 would be different if we took him instead? Silfverbeg, Chaisson, and Clifford were all other good wingers taken right after o’reilly too.

    Obviously non of this would hold up in court but…just sayin….

  28. JohninOshkosh says:

    Here we go…

  29. Lad 9 says:

    Let’s go Pitt! I’ve got the Panthers by three.

  30. Arriba Wilver says:

    Threw a little red meat out there. Knew I’d catch someone without a sense of humor.

    Hi Frank!

  31. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt leads 7-4 at first media timeout.

    Lot of touches in the paint for Pitt in the early going. Attacking ‘Cuse’s zone with some solid ball movement.

    Pitt countering defensively with the traditional man to man.

  32. Lad 9 says:

    Nobody attacks the 2-3 like Jamie. If you look, it is nothing fancy. Emphasis on movement without the ball and getting the ball into the interior.

  33. JohninOshkosh says:

    Amazing how it’s almost surprising when Pitt commits an unforced turnover or makes a dumb foul. As solid a fundamental team as there is in college hoops.

  34. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Maybe Pitt should work on shooting layups at the next practice.

  35. JRay3 says:

    If Pitt keeps getting those types of looks, should bode very well for the Panthers…they are breaking the zone down which is key,

  36. Lad 9 says:

    Bring it home guys. Got to go to my son’s game at Mt Lebo. HTP!

  37. JRay3 says:

    JRob so silky smooth, playing with great confidence and composure today.

  38. JohninOshkosh says:


  39. JohninOshkosh says:

    Would be nice if him and Wright have a good game today.

    Wow, I’ve seen a travelling and double dribble in the same half. Sometimes go games without seeing either call.

  40. theplanisworking says:

    Refs “letting them play” today.
    Pitt doesn’t have the horses to play that type of game with the Orange.

    Pitt just needs to get good looks on O, and play solid D.

  41. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Cuse winning battle at basket. Bigger and more athletic.

  42. JohninOshkosh says:

    Not too worried about Syracuse lead. Pitt has had tremendous looks and taken some high percentage shots, albeit, missed them.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    Technical foul on Dixon!

  44. theplanisworking says:

    See what I mean on that horrible non-call, then Jamie got a T?

  45. JRay3 says:

    Coach Dixon hardly ever get T’d up, replays show it was a foul…he had plenty of cause.

  46. theplanisworking says:

    Horrible call !
    Both the non-foul, and the T !

  47. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Bad end to the half, but generally Pitt played tough. Making layups and FT’s in 2nd half would help. Refs are highly questionable.

  48. JohninOshkosh says:

    25-21 Syracuse at intermission.

  49. JRay3 says:

    Plus Pitt winning battle of boards 17-14, Pitt outscored Cuse in the paint, outside shooting needs to pick up a bit. All in all very good half on the road playing the #2 team in country.

    Pitt showing they can play with anybody.

  50. tpbco says:


    Nominating Steve “Dirt” DiNardo – head groundskeeper at TRS, who passed last weekend. Great memories from the ’70’s with the Raiders and the Pats. Per his obit he was also a Korean War vet.

    They don’t make them like him anymore….

  51. JohninOshkosh says:

    Anybody download Sportscenter app? If so, worth it ?

    DK: I’m not wild about it. Way too busy. Tried to do too much.

  52. JohninOshkosh says:

    Dixon calls the timeout, 32-25 Syracuse. Panthers came out in the second half playing the zone. Orange hit a transition 3 to prompt the timeout. Almost invariably, the first 5 minutes of second half seems to loom big in a game.

  53. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks Dejan, appreciate it.

  54. JRay3 says:

    Zero consistentcy in way this game being called…three ticky tacky fouls on Pitt after all the banging in opening half allowed.

    Pitt needs to settle down and regroup here or game could slip away.

    Bad day at the line for Panthers needs to improve.

  55. JohninOshkosh says:

    Lamar Patterson sighting.

  56. JohninOshkosh says:

    En fuego!

  57. J Walter Weatherman says:

    NBA Jam style. I think the net caught fire on the last one.

  58. theplanisworking says:

    As soon a Robinson got back in, the offense settled.
    10 point lead cut to 3.
    Need to keep it up.

  59. J Walter Weatherman says:

    It’s amazing how one hot shooter can change a game. Panthers usually on the wrong end of those type of performances in the tourney.

  60. JohninOshkosh says:

    Cam Wright on the other hand….frustrating.

  61. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’d like college hoops eliminate bench called timeouts.

    Defense killer and rewards absent minded ballplayers.

  62. JohninOshkosh says:

    Talented left handed shooting forwards like Flair are pure gold for a team.

  63. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Hate to see the refs be a factor, but they are in this game. Not the sole reason Panthers are losing, as they are hurting themselves more with missed FT’s and layups, but definitely affecting game. At the same time, you almost expect that in opposing arena.

  64. 21sthebest says:


  65. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Just as I say that, a couple borderline plays go Pitt’s way.

    Another great pass by LP. Putting on a clinic in 2nd half on offensive end.

  66. theplanisworking says:

    Lamar Patterson !

  67. JohninOshkosh says:


  68. JohninOshkosh says:

    Orange in the one and maybe with 5 minutes to go.

  69. JohninOshkosh says:

    +++ Makings of a good ole fashioned barn burner here today!

  70. JRay3 says:

    Pitt basketball- amazing effort, fighting down low, no quit!

    Impressive resolve being shown by this team battling back from ten down.

  71. JohninOshkosh says:

    Lamar Patterson=ACC Player of the Year

  72. JRay3 says:

    And so mentally tough.

  73. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Cam Wright looks very uncomfortable with the ball in his hands.

    Pitt tenacious on offensive boards in 2nd half. That and LP’s shooting the obvious differences.

  74. theplanisworking says:

    Another way Zanna has improved over the years……. he is very active on offense — he just doesn’t stand around. He sets screens, moves from side to side of the key, always seems to be in good position for rebounds.

    Pitt is in very good shape to finish this !

  75. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Smart TO by Dixon. Momentum had shifted.

  76. JohninOshkosh says:

    Excellent timeout by Dixon. Zanna’s 15 footer miss was a key possession.

  77. 21sthebest says:

    Why Cameron?

  78. JohninOshkosh says:

    Ugh! The misses!

  79. J Walter Weatherman says:

    No confidence that any Pitt player other than LP can make a clutch jump shot.

  80. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Very poor defense by Pitt

  81. theplanisworking says:

    Horrible matador D.
    Huge mistake.

  82. JohninOshkosh says:

    Need to get Patterson isolated on the play coming off this timeout.

    It has to be Patterson that takes the shot!

  83. J Walter Weatherman says:

    What in the name of sam hell was pitt doing on that offensive possession? Completely lost

  84. JohninOshkosh says:

    Not a good effort coming out of the timeout.

  85. 21sthebest says:

    Not sure why Dixon switched to man.

  86. 21sthebest says:

    Got a wide open three for Patterson and would’ve had another if not for the foul.

  87. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Kind of feel like Pitt let that game slip away, but no real shame in taking #2 team in country to the brink at their place. Pitt will need LP to play like ACC POY for remainder of season, but look legit to stick near top of league.

  88. J Walter Weatherman says:

    They let 20 seconds tick off the clock.

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Good effort by Pitt today.
    To stay with the #2 team in the country at their place is a good thing.’

    Pitt hurt themselves by missing so many shots close inside. make a few of those, and it is a different game.

    Not to harp on this, but the refs blatant inconsistency didn’t help Pitt any.

    Best thing to do with this game is learn from it, and not let the loss affect them.

  90. florida steeler says:

    Zanna went brain dead the last three minutes of the fame. Easy misses, knocking the ball out of bounds and standing on defense giving up game winning layups. For a senior, he looks like Taylor did.

  91. Dom says:

    so close

  92. JRay3 says:

    Pitt showed a lot even in the loss this afternoon…this team can compete with the best of them.

    Road loss to #2 team in country with opportunity to win, can’t ask for much more.

    Looking forward to rematch with the Cuse at the Pete later this season. For now focus turns to Clemson on Tuesday.

  93. Chuck H says:

    Pitt missed enough free throws to have won the game. Pitt needs to practice their free-throw shooting.

    DK: I’d say practice has been going just fine. They entered this game on a school-record pace at 73.2 percent.

  94. Bizrow says:

    Duly added to our hall of fame

  95. This was about the toughest game Pitt had to play this season, and since Syracuse always plays Pitt tough, I saw this coming, like it or not. And now, hopefully, the Panthers can beat Clemson, which beat Wake Forest by 8 yesterday.

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