By the time most people got into their seats at Amway Arena for this NCAA Tournament second round matchup, the game, for all intents and purposes was over. Not in the most technical sense, but No. 9 seed Pitt made such quick work of No. 8 Colorado and had such a big lead early over the Buffaloes that the only drama in the arena came when they showed highlights of the end of the Dayton-Ohio State game on the Jumbotron. The final score was Pitt 77, Colorado 48, but this game wasn’t even that close as the Panthers led by more than 30 for most of the second half. It marked the first time in the Jamie Dixon era that the Panthers have beaten a higher seeded team in the NCAA Tournament and Dixon improved to 8-2 in first games of the NCAA Tournament. Pitt will next play Saturday against the No. 1 seed Florida (33-2) who defeated No. 16 seed Albany (19-14) 67-55 this afternoon. The Panthers needed a little less than five minutes to take their first double digit lead – 11-0, which they stretched to 13-0 – and they took their first 20-point lead on a layup by Josh Newkirk with 7:44 to play in the half. And Pitt’s lead at the half was 28 points – 46-18 – which was the Panthers largest halftime lead of the season, their largest halftime lead in an NCAA Tournament game and their second-largest halftime lead on a neutral court. The key to Pitt turning the game into a laugher was simple – the Panthers played smothering man-to-man defense, forced turnovers and that led to a whole lot of layups in transition. Colorado was just 5-of-17 from the field in the first half (29.4 percent) and had ten turnovers while the Panthers shot 18-of-29 from the field (62 percent) in the first half and turned the ball over just once.
Pitt crushes Colorado in 2nd round NCAA tournament game, 77-48
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Mar 20