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Pitt 84, Wake Forest 55, ACC Tournament

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to tipoff …

Game: Pitt (23-8, 11-7 ACC) vs. Wake Forest (17-15, 7-12), ACC Tournament

Time: 2:05 p.m.

Site: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.

TV, radio: ESPN (national), 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. Jim S. says:

    Just get the Dub, Pitt.

  2. theplanisworking says:

    Dub who?

    Or do you mean Dub U?

    I think Pitt needs one win in this tourney to get the NCAA berth.

  3. Arriba Wilver says:

    As long as they don’t get crushed by Wake Forest, I think they’re in.

    Let’s hope we don’t have to find out who’s right.

  4. Agree with you on that. They have some good wins in a tough league. They played better early, but they still deserve the bid.

  5. Bizrow says:

    Need to hope there aren’t many upsets where inferior teams win their conference

  6. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good point, Biz. It gets complicated.

  7. Dom says:

    Forgive my ignorance of CBB but what happens if we win this game?

  8. JohninOshkosh says:


    This is the Conference tournament. Played at the end of the regular season. The winner of the conference tournament get the automatic bid to the NCAA, not the regular season winner. That is moot in the big conferences that send several teams anyway.

    If Pitt wins they play North Carolina tomorrow at 2:00. North Carolina was one of the schools in the conference that got byes until Friday. It is a one and done deal. If Pitt wins, they advance. If they lose, they are eating supper in Oakland tonight.

    All games are played at Greensboro, NC, Coliseum.

  9. Dom says:

    Thank you, JohninOshkosh.

  10. Jim S. says:

    Yes, Dub-Ya.

  11. Jim S. says:

    That is very true, Biz. Experts always give mock brackets, but not many of them put in lesser teams winning the conference tourneys.

    Pitt might be safe, but they sure don’t want to leave it to chance. You would think 11-7 (which could become 11-8) in the ACC is normally enough to get you in. But, let’s face it, Pitt beat up on the weak teams in the conference and blew several great opportunities (UVA, Cuse x 2, UNC) to beat a marquee team.

  12. JohninOshkosh says:

    I went to work at 4:00 AM this morning just so I could get home to watch this one…at least until the second half when I have to pick up the kids.

    Really looking forward to Pitt’s first foray into ACC tournament basketball.

    Pitt needs to do something they have been poor at all season, and that is contain the three pointer. They need to neutralize Pittsburgh product Coron Williams on the perimeter. Have to avoid the screens in man to man and play somewhat aggressive on coming out in the zone. Pitt is more talented than this team in the end analysis. Hoping for good games from upper classmen Patterson and Wright. James Robinson is effectively a junior now that he has played a full season as a sophomore. He needs to step it up a notch. Young Newkirk having a strong game would give the Demon Deacons fits. Pitt needs and must play with a sense of urgency.

    I’ve been keeping an eye on the other major conferences as they could have a bearing on Pitt’s fate as to the tournament in the event the Panthers lose today. DePaul beating Georgetown last night helped. Colorado winning in the PAC 12 was significant, in a negative way, as the Buffaloes are seen as a bubble team. If Utah beats mighty Arizona tonight, that could be an issue as well. Iowa has lost 6 of 7 and their coach just got a cancer diagnosis. If they lose tonight against Northwestern, that likely solidifies Pitt. Although, if Minnesota wins and Iowa loses, then it might just be the Gophers flipping with the grounded Hawkeyes.

    Interestingly, Digger Phelps and Jay Williams were asked to pick from three blind “resumes” as to which team was deserving. Pitt was not chosen as both went for what turned out to be BYU.

    Jim S. is correct-just get the ‘W”!

  13. JoeyBats says:

    ACC tourney to be played in Wash DC in 2016 !!/news-detail/Washington-DC-Host-2016-ACC-Men-Basketball-Tournament_11-13-13_yxzhg0

    Hail To Pitt…. BEAT THE FOREST !!

  14. JohninOshkosh says:

    Great news! Considering four of the teams playing in this tournament, including Wake Forest are playing on home soil.

    I was just going to post that hopefully the Consol Center would get this tourney one year.

  15. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think on the Final Word they were saying the weak team thing kind of showed Jamie’s genius. They said it wasn’t as big a deal to the committee that fans think.

  16. Jim S. says:

    I really thought Iowa was having a strong season, Osh. They were so fun to watch until about a month ago. I did not know that about their coach. They do have some marquee wins, though.

  17. Jandy says:

    You were up before I was this morning Oshie!

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    I hope we don’t have to rely on Robinson scoring. He’s been a dead hole there for several games now. I suspect he lost his confidence. He started out the year much improved over last year, but he has fallen off a cliff offensively. And he’s not alone here, but they have been missing way too many lay ups and gimmes lately.

    I hope they win.

  19. Jim S. says:

    I figured at some point the NC teams were not going to be able to keep up their home state setup. It’s not as though they were playing in MSG. You bring in Cuse, L’Ville, Pitt, ND and that tips the scales away from the NC teams a bit in the conference. In the long run, the ACC will be better off not playing in Greensboro every year.

  20. JohninOshkosh says:


    I needed to get work done before this. Blessed with a flexibility to my schedule.

  21. Jim S. says:

    Maybe not, Jandy! His 4 a.m. is your 5 a.m. ;-)

  22. Arriba Wilver says:


  23. Hey can you guys catch me up on Pitt? Do they need to make a run in ACC tourney to make the big tourney?

  24. JohninOshkosh says:

    What’s going on, here ? Just got home. FSU and Maryland still playing. Still 4 minutes to go. Pitt game won’t start for awhile. Just about the time I have to pick up the daughter. :(

  25. JohninOshkosh says:

    Question of the day, HM! Nobody knows for certain, but I fall on the side of Pitt needing to at least win today.

  26. JohninOshkosh says:

    Boy, this Seton Hall, Nova game is shocking. I thought Nova was one of the best teams I saw all year.

    Man, that Big East tournament is interesting!

  27. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think ESPN set up for this. I set my DVR and it said 2.5 hours. Usually it only goes for 2 hours on a college game.

  28. Jim S. says:

    Illini whip the Hoosiers, 64-54. Dan Dakich will be in mourning.

  29. Well I guess if we cant beat WF than we got no bizness goin to da dance.

  30. Jim S. says:

    So true.

  31. JohninOshkosh says:

    It’s official. Villanova loses to the Seton Hall in an absolute thriller. SH was on fire with clutch shots down the stretch.

    First number one seed to lose in quarterfinals of Big East tournament since….you guessed it, Pitt in 2011.

  32. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt game in 20 minutes. FSU beats Maryland 67-65. On to the Big Ten for Maryland after the check cashes to the ACC.

  33. Arriba Wilver says:

    WF beat Duke on March 5. It’s more complicated than the record.

  34. Jandy says:

    LOL! SO we were up at the same time maybe? ;)

    Nice to have that flexibility.

    I also have flexibility here at work. I love it.

  35. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed Jim.

    Considering that the ACC now goes all up an down the East Coast, from Boston to Miami.
    I remember when they used to hols the tournament in Atlanta’s Omni. That wont happen now since the SEC holds their tourney in Atlanta every year.

    Would love to see it held in places like Philly, Tampa, ………… different places every year.

  36. theplanisworking says:

    What are your thoughts on Maryland’s move?

    I think it is a mistake on their part.
    They aren’t the “classic” Midwestern school.
    I know they did it for the $$$$$, but I think they will be a bottom-feeder in both major sports for years to come, IMO.

  37. Jim S. says:

    They pretty much went out with a whimper in their last season.

  38. Jim S. says:

    I think they did it because they were desperate for money. I read that they were hugely in debt in the athletic department (like $60 million or so), and the B1G provides more money than the ACC. I think the Under Armour guy might be writing a check for a big chunk of their exit fee.

    Rutgers came along with them, so you could say the B1G is expanding more to the East/Mid-Atlantic region. Gives PSU a couple of fairly close rivals. But, I also heard alums are not happy.

  39. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think they will be a factor in basketball at some point. Don’t know much about football but they seem like a mid level threat there.

    I live with it. Part of following any kind of sport in the modern world. $$$$$$$. It’s odd, though.

  40. theplanisworking says:

    Maryland was a charter member of the ACC, so there is 60 years of tradition right out the window.
    All these schools do it for the $$$$, but I fail to see much logic behind some of these moves.

    Funny that the SEC really started the musical chairs we see today waaaayyyy back when. The SEC took South Carolina in 1980, and Arkansas in 1991……… which led to the football championship games that we have today.

    Just some goofiness involved.
    Perfect topic for this here blog……….

  41. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, lots of places to choose from. DC is a good one. I do believe they will angle for MSG at some point. I don’t know how feasible that is with BE already there, but the ACC could flex some muscles and make that an interesting call. A10 is at the Barclay Center. Cuse and Pitt (and probably ND) would push for NYC, I would think.

  42. Jim S. says:

    These 2nd round games, which are the 1st games for the bye teams, are always tricky. You are playing a team with nothing to lose that is also feeling good about itself for beating someone yesterday. So, they don’t have the jitters or unfamiliarity with the court that the higher seed does. It is a “trap” game.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    And we are off and running for Pitt’s first ACC tournament game….

    Pitt in home whites. Navy blue PITT across the chest in arch form. Names and numbers trimmed with Vegas Gold.

    Wake Forest in Gold with black lettering.

    Pitt School colors: Navy Blue and Vegas Gold
    Wake Forest school colors: Old Gold and Black

    Zanna controls the tip and hits the first basket. Pitt shows the defense many of us learned at the CYO: man to man.

  44. Arriba Wilver says:

    Being a Virginia alum it sure is strange to me that Maryland won’t be in the ACC. I guess that’s “progress,” though.

  45. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt moves left to right on your radio dial…er computer screen. Pitt off to a 9-2 lead. Timeout on the court!

  46. Jim S. says:

    I’m taking in the Bulls vs. Rockets tonight at the United Center. Work thing. I would prefer to be home watching CBB at this time of year.

  47. JohninOshkosh says:

    Media timeout at 15:57

    Pitt up 11-5

    Zanna and Patterson looking impressive early.

  48. theplanisworking says:

    Thats the thing………….. yeah, you get some $$$, but geographically, and tradition wise, you suffer.

    Like the hair-brained idea to have Boise St. in the Big East, before it imploded.

  49. JohninOshkosh says:

    Pitt completely shutting down WVU defensively.

    Empty seats behind the baskets. But crowd is pretty good. Quiet, so many are no doubt Demon Deacon fans.

  50. JohninOshkosh says:

    Sorry, keep putting dwon WVU instead of WFU. Out of habit.

  51. theplanisworking says:

    Good seats still available?

  52. Jim S. says:

    I guess more money right now, but it really is short-sighted in my mind. Their alums, students, fans would all prefer playing teams closer to home, right? So, maybe it is more money for the school in the form of a check from the league.

    But, all the kids are doing it …. so.

    Still, I’m pretty sure WVU would like another arrangement.

  53. JohninOshkosh says:

    Looks to be some good ones, Plan!

    These are good games to play, though. Need to get accustomed to playing in front of quiet early sporadic crowds in the big tournament.

    Bilas noting that Pitt is contesting almost every shot. Pitt looks rested and efficient, WFU looks a bit gassed.

    Timeout at 10:48

    Pitt 19 Wake 9

  54. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, Ollie Not-so-luck bungled that one, huh?

  55. JohninOshkosh says:

    Cameron Wright honored on court before game as ACC basketball scholar athlete of the the year. (Skip Prosser Award). Wright studying business marketing at Pitt.

  56. theplanisworking says:


  57. Brandie says:

    Good to know that in some aspects academics still matter. :)

    Hello JohnJuan and John Plandelaria.

  58. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hi Brandie.

    Have to run. Was hoping to annoy everyone by live blogging most of this game but it started much later than I thought it would.

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    I figured you were just sucking up to JAL, OSH.


  60. theplanisworking says:

    Always liked the Plandy man.

    He was a biggun back in the days when there weren’t many bigguns.

  61. Brandie says:

    To steal a nickname from Jared Lorenzen…

    The Planet Man was the Original Pilsbury Throwboy!

  62. Jim S. says:

    I love John Plandalaria.

    Do these come to you on the spot, Brandie? Or, do you have a list that you are working through?

  63. Andrew says:

    I do not get the move for Maryland, completely understand for the B1G, they now have access to Washington and New York media markets. Everything is sports is being propelled by television/media money, and the as Plan sights the conferences have not been stable since 1984 Supreme Court decision struck down NCAA restrictions on televising football games.

    I assume Maryland is going to be getting additional money for its athletic budget or hope to gain additional money, right now they tap the general fund to cover their losses

  64. Brandie says:

    They just pop into my head when I am doing ordinary things JimRocka!

  65. Jim S. says:

    I would say it appears Ollie bungled it, plan. But, then again, they made inquiries and didn’t seem to come up with anything from what I read. Big12 is an excellent conference. It’s just so far away for them … every road game in every sport.

    Some of the best times I had in college were driving to away games with my buddies. Can’t do that at WVU for conference games.

  66. theplanisworking says:

    Yeah, that Rocka is a fine fella…………….

    Brandie, You should come up with a desk calendar pad with all these names on it.
    Gold, pure gold. :)

  67. Brandie says:

    See, this being basketball talk I went RimRocka on yinz!

  68. Brandie says:

    Use your connections Plandy Rodriguez and we will deal.

  69. Brandie says:

    Or should I say Andy Plan Slyke.

  70. Pitt seems to have found its scoring touch again. Not a game too late either. Hope they keep it through the second half and into the tourney.

  71. theplanisworking says:

    Funny thing about Maryland’s move…….. they went for more $$$$$$$, had to pay a big exit fee, then the ACC negotiated a big $$$$ TV deal of their own. So, in summary, Maryland got greedy, and in the end wont get that much more TV $$$$, and they ruined all their traditional rivalries. Dumb.

    WVU was like the red-headed stepchild when musical chairs was being played. They desperately tried to get into a better conference, but were shot down. BIG didn’t want them for academic reasons, I can’t remember why the ACC didn’t want them.

    Hopefully the musical chairs is done for a long while.

  72. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed, Reverend.

    Hopefully Pitt doesn’t act like this weather we are having………. 60, 10, 60.
    Weird to say the least.

    Pitt just needs to drown out all the white noise, and just play.

  73. Jim S. says:

    Ok by me so far.

    Illinois beats Indiana, 64-54. Check.

    Pitt up 39-25 at half over WF. So far, so good.

    Dayton beating up on Fordham 50-31 at half.

    I’m not seeing any of it, but maybe that should be my new strategy.

  74. Jim S. says:

    Plandy Rodriguez tossed 3 scoreless innings today vs. Toronto minor leaguers. As far as I know, no soreness to report.

  75. For sure. We’ve had those temps fluctuate, too, Plandelaria. Odd to say the least.

  76. It looks good for Pitt so far. Hope it remains that way.

  77. Andrew says:

    Short sighted or miscalculation would be appropriate characterizations right now.

  78. Jim S. says:

    Could have gone Jandy Plan Slyke.

  79. JohninOshkosh says:

    Patterson hits a trey and Pitt up by 20 with 15:29 left.

    Fear the run, though. Most teams always have a run in them.

  80. Lad 9 says:

    Trying to listen at work and finally had to hook up the FM attenna to a lamp in the finest Rube Goldgerg fashion. Sounds like Pitt playing very well now that I can hear. Is Devin Thomas for Wake Forest acting like an idiot? I saw him when Wake Forest was here and he was a complete jerk on the court.

  81. JohninOshkosh says:

    Bilas says that postseason conference tournaments should be about the automatic bid only. Says committee should make up their minds before the tournaments start. Says mid majors like Green Bay are getting screwed while big schools get to play more games against other big schools to help their cause.


  82. JohninOshkosh says:

    This one is pretty much over. 60-33 with 12:21 to go. Wake looks like they can’t wait to get on the bus.

    Pitt playing a terrific game. Maybe, their best all year.

    Bring on the Heels.

  83. Jim S. says:

    Jay Bilas, Duke Grad, fighting for the mid- and low-majors. I like it.

  84. Jim S. says:

    Pitt had their usual prolonged bad spots vs. UNC in the Dean Dome. But, I thought they hung in and had a decent shot to pull it out at the end. That was right smack in the middle of this hot streak by Carolina. But, as has been their story all season, Pitt had no “go to” scorers and could not close the deal.

    They really struggled with the athletic “bigs” of UNC that day. Not sure anything much will change this time in that regard.

    Tough match-up. Could elevate their status a line or so.

  85. 21sthebest says:

    I wish you guys would stop talking about Pitt’s next opponent. :-)

  86. Lad 9 says:

    If my memory is right Jim, Zanna was still somewhat hobbled in that game and Patterson was not over his hand injury yet. Hopefully those two being healthy will be enough to make a difference. I think Zanna was hurt a lot worse than Pitt let on and if they had a decent backup he would have sat our a game or two.

  87. theplanisworking says:

    Wasn’t on for a while, and then you weren’t on……… but you were correct, Bp DID play NC a lot closer the second time. I guess Hooker got hurt in that game…….

    So New Castle won last night, and Pitt winning easily today.
    Good day for my basketball teams.

  88. Jim S. says:

    I’m still feeling god about the lead here, 21.

  89. theplanisworking says:

    Bilas has regularly stood up for the smaller schools.
    He said a long time ago that without the mid-majors, college ball wouldn’t be as popular.

    Interesting take.

  90. Brandie says:

    Good to see Pitt having success today.


  91. Jim S. says:

    I think you are right on both counts, Lad.

    But, as 21 has admonished us, they still have a lead to protect. Actually, he didn’t admonish us. I just wanted to use “admonish” in a sentence. :-)

  92. 21sthebest says:

    You need to get out more.

  93. Brandie says:

    Mid to low major schools can and do often surprise in these kinds of tournaments and tend to keep the larger schools honest to a certain degree. Just my opinion.

    Besides, people love a good undersigned story.

  94. theplanisworking says:


    I love the New Balance commercials that have the ‘Underdog” theme.
    In a related note, I knew of a girl in college that was a dead ringer for Sweet Polly Purebred. Honestly.

  95. Jim S. says:

    Is it a tad early to start saying Pitt is playing it’s best basketball of the year right now? I like to get out in front of these things. ;-)

  96. theplanisworking says:

    Where has THIS Pitt team been the past 3-4- weeks?
    Very encouraging to say the least.
    They look healthy, and played within themselves today.

    Need to play like this tomorrow, against the more athletic heels.

  97. Jim S. says:

    Sorry. I’ll try to limit my enjoyment.

  98. Brandie says:

    You make me smile Planfernee Hardaway.

  99. 21sthebest says:


    Can’t think of any words I like to use in sentences. But I was impressed that Shania Twain was able to work prerogative into a song.

  100. Lad 9 says:


  101. Lad 9 says:

    I never really get to the words when I see Shania sing for some reason…

  102. Jim S. says:

    Bobby Brown, too.

  103. Bizrow says:

    Chalk up a good W, NC can be had.

  104. Lad 9 says:

    Plan! I haven’t been on much. How did the move go?

  105. Brandie says:

    In High School, I was called Brandie Alcohol, Scotch, and Gin. In College, I was called Bran Muffin because I worked in the PSU bakery. Explains the penchant for nicknames.

  106. ESPN is currently having technical problems with the Pitt/Wake Forest game. Not that it makes any difference, since Pitt will be facing North Carolina tomorrow since the Panthers have just won 84-55.

  107. Jim S. says:

    As San Antonio Holmes would say, “Wake and Bake.” Panthers blow out the Forest, 84-55 in Greensboro.

  108. Lad 9 says:

    If you ever sold GPS units you could be called Brand McNally!

  109. Brandie says:

    Do you mean Plantonio Holmes? :)

  110. Lad 9 says:

    Very good Jim. And he will have plenty of time to bake now that he is a free agent…

  111. Brandie says:

    ZING on me!

    Lad 9…Comedy Superhero!

  112. Jim S. says:

    Plan-AN-tonio Holmes, per Bill Cowher.

  113. Brandie says:

    His favorite cereal is Toke-O Puffs!

  114. Jim S. says:

    I wonder where he’ll end up. Steelers need receivers.

  115. Jim S. says:

    Li’l Penny.

  116. theplanisworking says:

    Move went as well as could be expected, which isn’t saying much.
    Just glad it is done.

    Now I get to learn new places, and shortcuts to evade the law. ;)

  117. Lad 9 says:

    Not that bad.

  118. theplanisworking says:

    You rang?? ;)

  119. theplanisworking says:

    Where will he end up?

    My guess is prison someday…….
    (said with 100% seriousness)

  120. Lad 9 says:

    Well, welcome back to western PA my friend.

  121. Jim S. says:

    I think he’s right.

    I’m a mid-major guy, I guess. Although calling the A10 a mid-major when they should get 5 or 6 bids might be a stretch this year.

  122. Jim S. says:

    The ACC rejecting WVU was said to be for academic reasons, as I recall. That’s when Louisvile was b*tching up a storm as well, as you might recall. Little Ricky Pitino and their AD had some choice things to say about anyone and everyone.

    Then, the ACC decided it needed another team, and with UCONN being blackballed by BC, suddenly Louisville academic record didn’t seem so bad. WVU had already hooked up with the Big12.

  123. Jim S. says:

    They took the guy who shot himself in the butt back just a couple of years ago. I would not rule anything out.

  124. James Harrison was cut today by the Bengals after one season. Now let’s see where he ends up.

  125. theplanisworking says:

    Thank You, Berry much.

  126. Lad 9 says:

    I think with the way they unloaded Holmes with the owner involved and only getting a bag of magic beans back in return that the chances are as close to zero as makes no difference. But ya nevah know…

  127. Lad 9 says:

    LMAO Brandie, Toke – O Puffs is inspired, even for you. Awesome!

  128. 21sthebest says:

    +1 Lad

  129. Arriba Wilver says:

    They really are a Jekyll and Hyde team (or is that Heckyl and Jeckyl?). And as they reminded me on the Fan, Patterson got in early foul trouble in the UNC game, so he sat for a huge stretch. But I think either way they are going to the Big Dance.

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