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North Carolina 75, No. 25 Pitt 71

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to tipoff ..

Game: No. 25 Pitt (20-5, 8-4 ACC) vs. North Carolina (16-7, 6-4)

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: Smith Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.

TV, radio: CBS Sports, 93.7 The Fan

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Pitt pageKevin Gorman is on the scene.

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. Brandie says:

    Surprised Hippo has not weighed in on this morning’s topics. BTW Hippo, what typo were you referencing on the chat thread?

    GO PITT!

  2. Arriba Wilver says:

    Personally, I’m really enjoying Pitt ACC basketball.

  3. 21sthebest says:


  4. Milo Hamilton says:

    Steve Pederson deserves a ton of credit for being on top of the situation & making sure Pitt had a chair when the music stopped. Now I’ll get back to hammering him unmercifully for his inability to hire a football coach.

  5. DJ says:

    If Pitt’s big men could consistently finish inside, the team would be dangerous. Like watching Aaron Gray put back 4 or 5 bunnies in a row without a hoop.

    Hands and touch are very underrated in big men.

  6. Arriba Wilver says:


  7. 21sthebest says:

    James Michael McAdoo is fun to say.

  8. Milo Hamilton says:

    Last time I saw hands like that they belonged to Dick Stuart.

  9. Milo Hamilton says:

    Maybe by the time Zanna is a senior he’ll take those up confidently with more authority. Oh yeah, never mind.

  10. Arriba Wilver says:

    He’s also a pretty good player.

  11. Milo Hamilton says:

    James Robinson is playing just terrible basketball.

  12. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Jones and Randall were the biggest positives for Pitt in the 1st half. Zanna and Robinson not so much. Pitt is lucky to be this close. One thing is certain: NC is a whole lot more fun to watch than Pitt. Yes, that doesn’t always translate to wins, but there’s something to say about entertainment factor.

  13. Milo Hamilton says:

    Entertaining & it’s produced more than its fair share of hardware for Mr. Williams.

  14. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m waiting for floridasteeler to appear. He only shows up when things aren’t going well.

  15. Milo Hamilton says:

    As far as North Carolina teams go, this is one of them.

  16. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sure seems like Pitt will need to get some 3 point shooters to compete, even with the Big East influence in the ACC.

  17. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Two teams headed in different directions. Continuity and experience gets you wins early in the season. Talent and athleticism gets you wins later in the season.

  18. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Michael Young does not have the body to be a PF in this league. Guys are just jumping over him for rebounds.

  19. florida steeler says:

    I have been watching your mindless, Pitt Kool Aid comments. Robinson stinks but he is your all american!!!

  20. Arriba Wilver says:

    You have no clue what you’re talking about (in regards to me), dude. I did call you accurately, though.

  21. florida steeler says:

    Problem is you have no clue about the ability of this Pitt basketball team. If they played Savanah State 25 times, you would be happy. Who have they beaten??

  22. J Walter Weatherman says:

    and dunks

  23. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, can’t even start a reasonable conversation about this with you because (1) you totally misunderstand my view of this team, and (2 ) you have no interest in any kind of objective analysis, just dumping on any Pittsburgh team.

  24. DJ says:

    Young is a freshman and will both learn and fill out.

    Much more concerning to me is Zanna, the senior. Has no clue how to create space, keep big men on his hip and away from his shooting hand . . . and then finish.

  25. DJ says:

    I take it he was a butcher, Milo.

  26. J Walter Weatherman says:

    What is it about this team that:
    1. They have no clue what to do in the last 30 seconds of a game?
    2. They can’t make a layup?

  27. J Walter Weatherman says:

    You’re 100% correct about Zanna. Actually, part of the problem is that Zanna is a PF playing C and Young is more of a SF at this point playing PF.

  28. Arriba Wilver says:

    The inside game is very frustrating.

  29. pattonbb says:

    2014 Pitt basketball, the year of the tough loss.

  30. florida steeler says:

    Objective analysis–James Robinson is awful. Still want to point out how great a player he is???? I went to Pitt–did you?? I want them to win as badly as anyone but Jamie does not recruit kids good enough to be a better than average team that plays 14 patsies every year.
    Pitt is a good basketball team but if Jamie would not lose kids because of his lousy offense, spearheaded by Robinson–they could be much better.

  31. It was too often the James Michael McAdoo Show at North Carolina today, although Pitt played them close.

  32. DJ says:

    Yeah, I understand about Zanna, but few teams in college have a true center.

    Give me three guys on the front line who have good hands, know how to use their bodies and can consistenly make shots from four feet and in and I’ll take my chances.

    A lot of bunnies missed today, same as all year.

  33. Jim S. says:

    Steve Adams would have really helped this year.

  34. DJ says:

    The one thing about today’s game that I liked is that the guys got out and ran a bit. A nice change of pace from the last 3 games. Or is it the last 5?

    The last 5 minutes of the Syracuse game were pure torture.

  35. J Walter Weatherman says:

    Steven Adams could’ve really helped last year too, if Dixon would’ve given him a little more freedom on the offensive end earlier in the season.

  36. Jim S. says:

    Another painful Pitt loss. They seem to have perfected that particular outcome. I hope they start trying a new tactic against good teams down the stretch. That would be so much more enjoyable.

    North Carolina will always have a minimum of two athletic, offensively skilled players at 6’8″ and above. Pitt will always struggle with them until it finds players like that.

    It was a game effort by the Panthers, as always. They couldn’t close the deal, as always this year.

    I think if the selection committee was picking today, they’d be a #9 seed somewhere in the west. That’s probably fair. They’ve proven they can hang with just about anybody, but they don’t execute in crunch time.

  37. Jim S. says:

    I was thinking the same thing. I thought Pitt really took it to UNC down the stretch on their court. But, no finishers.

  38. Jim S. says:

    Maybe, but he was extremely raw early on. But, I do agree that Jamie’s tendency with younger players is to not give them much freedom early on.

  39. Eric Bowser says:

    When you coach to dumb down your players, stifle individuality & creativity… this is what you get with Jamie Dixon basketball. James Robinson stinks, can’t breakdown anyone off the ball, rarely shoots, and my goodness, take a shot late game.

    Pitt wins that game if they don’t miss what seemed like 10 buckets on clear looks at the basket (layups or put backs).

  40. Jim S. says:

    Not quite sure why Zanna was grabbing a rebound with a few seconds left and taking it right up to the hoop, down 3, when they needed him to throw it outside. Even more inexplicable was UNC’s defender playing very physically there and trying to block the shot. I actually thought Zanna got fouled on that last possession and almost made the shot for what could have been a tying 3-pt play. Of course, the ref did not call it so that point is moot.

  41. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yes, I did go to Pitt, and I did also go to UVA, and my daughter went to Virginia Tech, and I always enjoyed ACC basketball. So, I enjoy it almost regardless of the results. You seem to be taking one comment I made about Robinson and making a totally inaccurate conclusion based on it. And my comment on Robinson concluded he was not in Tyler Ennis’ class (someone else on here had previously mentioned that Robinson might be the best in the country next year, and I countered that he was not Ennis). But you went your way with it. Your negative way.

    And I get frustrated with Robinson’s offense, but he still shows some promise in a couple games on that side. From what I can tell, he’s got a pretty good rating nationally as a PG. Krauser used to frustrate me, too, but sometimes I miss him.

    Bottom line is you focused on one comment I made (out of a hundred) in trying to make another point and saying I’m clueless about Pitt basketball, ignoring everything else I’ve said.

    Eric Bowser has made more positive comments about Dan Bylsma than you ever have made about anything on here.

  42. Eric Bowser says:

    NC tried to give Pitt this game with some bad ball in the last 5 minutes.

  43. DJ says:

    Right now I’m thinking a #10 or 11 seed, Jim. But then again, maybe I’m being fatalistic.

    I think the recruiting is beginning to turn a corner. I do agree we need some more athletic 6’8″+ players. We seem to have specialized in 6’5″ tweeners — Sam Young, Nasir Robinson and Lamar Patterson. I believe Michael Young will develop, so there’s one.

  44. Jim S. says:

    True, but it goes both ways. I thought Pitt played hard and caused a lot of problems defensively down the stretch. I have been critical of Pitt lately, but UNC had won 5 in a row coming into this game and they were playing at home.

    This road loss would not have bothered me so much if they had not given away games vs UVA and Cuse at home.

  45. Arriba Wilver says:

    Earlier, I had thought the talk of Pitt being a “bubble team” was kind of silly. Now, I’m beginning to wonder. Lots of losses lately. Probably still will go, but it’s no longer a sure thing.

  46. pattonbb says:

    They’ve played bad ball for most of the season. Roy’s boys have had a tough time on and off the court this year.

  47. Jim S. says:

    I know, but they are on a roll. Pitt didn’t get to play them a month ago, unfortunately. UNC still has a lot of talent, and they are starting to put it together. I don’t see them as anywhere near an easy win at the Dean Dome now.

  48. Jim S. says:

    I like that line, Milo. I had a business colleague who used to say, “Of all the people I’ve ever met, you’re one of them.”

  49. Craigin VA says:

    Have watch most of Pitt’s last half-dozen games, and the difference between them and most of the other teams they’ve played (and lost to) seems to be the other teams have the athleticism and talent to make up for other shortcomings. North Carolina is exhibit A. They have played pretty bad ball, but they can overcome it to an extent by sheer ability. Today was a case of that. Against a team of comparable talent, that doesn’t work so much. Pitt doesn’t have comparable talent, and no margin for error. They can play it close, but they’ll also come up short in the end most times. Talent needs to improve, which seems to be on the horizon, but they also better figure out what to do with it when it does get here.

  50. CraiginVA says:

    Have watch most of Pitt’s last half-dozen games, and the difference between them and most of the other teams they’ve played (and lost to) seems to be the other teams have the athleticism and talent to make up for other shortcomings. North Carolina is exhibit A. They have played pretty bad ball, but they can overcome it to an extent by sheer ability. Today was a case of that. Against a team of comparable talent, that doesn’t work so much. Pitt doesn’t have comparable talent, and no margin for error. They can play it close, but they’ll also come up short in the end most times. Talent needs to improve, which seems to be on the horizon, but they also better figure out what to do with it when it does get here.

  51. Jim S. says:

    Good post, Arriba!

    I’m actually a guy who has said on here that I think Robinson will be one of the top PGs in the country by senior year. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but he is going to be a very good one IMO. I think he is already good, in fact. But, he’s not gifted athletically and, therefore, won’t ever compare to the Tyler Ennis’s of the world. Tyler Ennis is pretty special.

    Robinson made a 4-point play to save the VA Tech game, I believe. He’s played a lot of very good games in the past 2 years. He has also played some clunkers.

    I think there is a whole lot of space between “not as good as Tyler Ennis” and “awful” which I believe was your point. He’s not awful by anyone’s estimation that I have heard before.

  52. Jim S. says:

    Valid point, Craig. And, one that most here agree on that I can tell. Jamie needs to embrace a more up-tempo offense, and he needs to recruit players that fit that sort of offense better. He needs better shooters, he needs more athleticism, and then he needs to let those types of players be who they are going forward.

    I really believe he was counting on a breakout season from Adams this year, and that was a big loss.

  53. Jim S. says:

    You’re right. He got them into the ACC. Or, was that Nordy? Well, anyway, that was good. Not much else good being done by him lately that I can see.

  54. pattonbb says:

    Dean Dome will never be easy. Absolutely agree with you, Jim. But UNC have been the poster children for underachievers this year. Not taking shots at Pitt, but maybe those ACC preseason rankings that had them 6th or 7th were a lot more accurate than we want to admit.

  55. CraiginVA says:

    Seemed like they were trending that way earlier in the year. The Maryland game was the last one I recall were they opened things up a bit. That one wasn’t a thing of beauty, but they did get up and down more, then we started seeing the 52-45 clunkers. Level of competition improved, I guess, and the reigns got tighter. Don’t know. Coaches work with what they got, so I suppose Jamie thinks this is their best shot to win games. Hard to watch, though.

  56. Arriba Wilver says:


  57. JD says:

    That’s because he hasn’t found something to complain about yet.

  58. theplanisworking says:

    Just like you.
    Your only contributions here are to attack me.
    Grow up.

  59. Chuck H says:

    Pitt has played well against some very good teams, in fact, Syracuse got away with a charge late in the game. The basket counted and the ref called the wrong team for the foul. That Orange player thought he was a football player, hitting the center of the line. That play actually cost Pitt the game, because that
    lucky shot from way out wouldn’t have mattered.

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