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Saturday column: Don’t get upset

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

ORLANDO, Fla. — Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Saturday column is about the biggest sporting event in the nation today. Unless someone can think of something that tops the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament having a legit shot at going down on the first weekend.

The game preview, by beat man Kevin Gorman.

The teams’ ties, by Gorman.

The Gators make for a pressing matter, by Greg Auman.

Here’s some of what Lamar Patterson had to say …

And Mike Young

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pitt page.

Here’s Chris Horner’s photo gallery from the scene.

Here’s Florida news from the Gainesville Sun.

Here’s the NCAA’s official Mercer Madness page.

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. Patrick(ri) says:

    Anybody watching this Cotton kid taking unc apart?
    He has been coming on all year, but he has been recently all-world!

  2. Patrick(ri) says:

    I go back far enough to have watched Walt Frazier win the NIT for SIU in the old Madison SG — never seen a better game from a single player. To lose on a free throw will be a shame. Awesome!

  3. Robert Morris did remarkably well this season although they finally lost to Belmont University in the NIT Tournament last night considering that the Colonials had only 8 players available last night, and they put up a good fight and they have nothing to be ashamed of.

  4. Brenden says:

    I hope Pitt loses. Dejan would benefit from it.

  5. JoeyBats says:

    Let’s Go PITT……………..BEAT THE GATORS :-)

  6. Jim S. says:

    Agreed, Joey. It would be great for Jamie to get back to a Sweet 16 for the firs time in a few years. After that, no telling how far they might go. This thing seems pretty up in the air this year.

  7. I’m not certain that Pitt can beat the Florida Gators, who are 34-2, although stranger things have happened in these tournaments in the past, but I do wish the Panthers the best of luck since they’ll certainly need it today.

  8. Jim S. says:

    I read a quote from Chris Stewart last night saying that he is hopeful of being back playing in 2 weeks. He said the procedure was a very minor shaving of some miniscus, and has made his knee already feel much better. I don’t know about the 2 weeks part. That seems like a pretty quick recovery. But, it definitely sounds like he’ll be playing in Pittsburgh relatively quickly.

  9. Jim S. says:

    Does anyone have NCAA brackets that are not a mess this morning?

    If you did a good job predicting what happened yesterday, my hat’s off to you.

  10. Tom P. says:

    Florida’s record is really good, but the SEC was really bad this year. Only three teams made the NCAA Tournament: Florida, Kentucky (No. 8), and Tennessee (No. 11, play in game). Granted all of those teams have one games in the tournament (2 by Tennessee), but the SEC was not up to its usual standards. That does not mean Pitt will win, but I think they have a legitimate shot because Pitt will be one of the better teams Florida has played all year. Should be fun. As luck would have it, my daughter has her last basketball game of the year at 2 today, just as the Pitt game will be ending.

  11. Jim S. says:

    Good points, Tom. Good to see you back here.

  12. bpn8pitt says:

    I saw that. Somehow i dont buy that. Being up and down like that, bending at the knees all the time. I’ll be surprised if its not a lingering issue.

    I know Stewart was brought in more for his defense anyway. But this just makes him even more of an offensive liabilty on the basepaths (when he does get on).

  13. kr70 says:

    The press is Pitt’s kryptonite and Florida can press. If they don’t handle the pressure it won’t be close. I want to know who had Mercer in their bracket? Probably not even Mercer.

  14. James Thompson says:

    Well, the Dodgers just beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sidney, Australia 3-1 to start off the 2014 MLB season officially, while the second game of this season will start at 10 pm edt. Why, I don’t know except that MLB has been holding exhibitions down under since 1914.

  15. 21sthebest says:

    My wife is doing very well.

  16. hockeymonster says:

    Why didn’t anyone tell me we play tampa and stl in the afternoon this weekend? Both teams playing real well and pens discipline issues will tested…and then some. Tampa has been picking it up and probably won’t be in a hurry to give up too much ice. And as for STL, we better be prepared to be as patient as humanly possible and deal with air tight defense all over the ice.

    1st things 1st and Tampa should have our attention based on last few weeks.


    Congrats to PSU for making a solid run in Big Ten Tourney. They played the best team games of the season while pretty much ending Michigan’s season and hopes of the frozen four with the 1st round upset and gave #2 seed Wisconsin all they can handle and then some. Defense kept it simple, centers worked hard down low, wingers skated hard all over the ice and Skoff continued his run of making stupefying saves look routine. Sound of Skoff’s pads my still be resonating in the Red Berenson’s and the cheeseheads ears. And I’d be surprised if Skoff and Curtis Loik aren’t on some NHL radars.

  17. Baywatch says:


  18. Jim S. says:

    Glad to hear that, 21. Didn’t know she was under the weather.

    Oh, you mean with the brackets? ;-)

  19. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I’m sure he was putting the most optimistic forecast on it. Who wouldn’t? He’s on crutches now. 2 weeks seems a stretch. But, from Sanchez’s standpoint, this could be a nice chance to get a little more time in MLB, a litle more time with Martin, then still a lot of time playing everyday in AAA.

    Martin says the only thing holding Sanchez back from being an MLB starter right now is him.

  20. Baywatch says:

    Just a quick update on our Bucco Bloggers Bracket, with your post, Jim!

    You, Me, Damon & Cosmos are knotted in a 4-way tie, after these first few maddening days, BESTING 56.9 percent of the other 11-million ESPN bracket faithful! LEAPIN’ LAMBO – whoever that is around here – is in the cellar with a bracket that is only better than 12.3 percent.

    We AIN’T busted yet!

  21. theplanisworking says:

    Well, I see Mr. Volquez had another bad outing last night.
    Good thing ST stuff doesn’t matter………………
    Shame. The team needs him to be competent, at the very least.

    That being said……..

    GO PITT!

  22. theplanisworking says:

    Interesting avatar, Reverend.

  23. cherokee23 says:

    Saw small bit of bucs/Yankees last night. How is Jeter going to make it thru the year? Running out a ground ball, he looked like a car with square wheels!

  24. Thundercrack says:

    Going to see AJ pitch against the Bucs today.

    I may boo. Because I didn’t get a chance to boo David Wright.

  25. Baywatch says:

    I’m heading out, garage sailing, trusting I may just bring back a Stephen F. Austin T-shirt, since the school’s only a little over an hour down the road from me, here in East Texas. :-)

  26. Arriba Wilver says:

    If you get a chance to talk to Searage, make sure to tell him that the ONLY reason they haven’t cut Volquez already DURING ST is because they can’t admit they made a mistake.

  27. cherokee23 says:

    Agree…liked the column, but I do think it would and possibly will be an upset. ACC was pretty weak, also.

  28. Andrew says:

    Hope the Pens do not put three in their own net.

  29. cherokee23 says:

    FWIW….I like Lance Moore & LeGarret Blount

  30. Baywatch says:

    If YOU just brought a person into your employ for $5 million for the year, would you take a little longer to declare your mistake, Arreebs?

  31. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’d have done it 2 weeks ago, Bay. Because EYE know he stinks based on the box score.

    ;-) :-D

  32. cherokee23 says:

    The vibe I got from last night was that Bucs took this outing as a positive step for him. Seems like an emotional guy! Searage may be perfect for him.

  33. Yeah, I’ll bet Milo didn’t know he made southern sweet tea. He does know he’s famous.

  34. Did they sign Blount?

  35. Do away with the first 2 innings and he pitched a gem. Maybe he could come in in the 3rd from now on.

  36. Jim S. says:

    Enjoy, Bay!

  37. Andrew says:

    Don’t boo, politely point out which fielders he will miss this year and the Citizen Bank Park fences are shorter and lack a thirty foot wall in right.

  38. Jim S. says:

    I read Hurdle was working the “he touched 97″ angle last night. He’s actually going to need to get people out in the regular season, regardless of the stuff.

  39. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m still looking for that sarcasm emoticon. ;-)

  40. cherokee23 says:

    No, but visitng on Monday…..always thought he got bad rap for the “sucker punch”. the other guy was taunting him pretty good if I recall…..and he always seems to run productively when I’ve seen him play

  41. Sisyphus says:

    Two to six weeks, according to Dr. Andrews. Not too bad. Even six weeks sounds pretty good after hearing all the rumors about “out for the season”.

  42. Sisyphus says:

    I saw footage of Stewart crutching his way back to the clubhouse yesterday. He was already putting a lot of weight on his leg. Just two little band-aids on his knee. It’s amazing how much knee surgery has been improved since I was in high school.

  43. Sisyphus says:

    Mine’s perfect. Perfectly empty, that is. I never got around to making one out, so I didn’t make any wrong pics. :-)

  44. Jim S. says:

    Amen to that.

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