Normally No. 1
seeds have their way with No. 16s, and this year will be no exception as the Pittsburgh Panthers and the UNC Asheville Bulldogs will
square off in DC.
Asheville Bulling Its Way Into Main
It wasn't the
prettiest game in the world, but the UNC Ashville Bulldogs were able to get into the main
field of the NCAA Tournament after winning in Dayton in the First Four on
Tuesday night over the Arkansas Little Rock Trojans. The 81-77 triumph was,
without a doubt, the biggest victory for the Bulldogs in quite some time. They were the favorite in the betting odds but failed to win by the projected 5 points, but they did fly over the 128 point spread predicted by the NCAA Basketball odds makers.
JP Primm and Matt
Dickey were really the keys to winning that game, and they've both been keys
for the whole season for this club. Both scored 22 points against the Trojans
on Tuesday. Dickey is the team's leading scorer at 15.6 PPG, while Primm is No.
2 on the team at 14.6 PPG.
The Bulldogs have
won seven games in a row now, as they were once just a 13-13 team in the Big
South, which normally doesn't translate into an NCAA Tournament team, but UNCA
has bucked the trend and is now here in Washington DC.
Panthers Set to Strike
The Pittsburgh Panthers only
played one game in the Big East Tournament, but maybe that was for the best.
Unlike the Connecticut Huskies, the team that they were bounced by at Madison
Square Garden, U-Pitt has been sitting at home, watching and waiting for its
draw for the dance. The team got the No. 1 seed that it was searching for one
way or the other, and it didn't have to deal with the grind with the Big East
You would think of
this team that is one that really was nothing more than a defensive grinding team,
but this is a spookily good offensive squad as well. Head Coach Jamie Dixon's
team is shooting 47.4 percent from the field for the season, while it is
knocking down 39.0 percent from beyond the arc.
The only bugaboo about this club is that it really doesn't shoot foul
shots that well. This could be the demise of this team eventually, as 67.2
percent just doesn't cut it.
History For Panthers Is Questionable,
but they Should Beat NCAA Basketball Lines
This is a team
that historically struggles in the NCAA Tournament, but usually not this early
on. Last year, the Oakland Golden Grizzlies weren't much of a fight in the
first round of the dance, but the team didn't last into the second weekend
after a loss to the Xavier Musketeers.
It's been quite
awhile since the Panthers have gotten deep into this tournament. This is
normally the time that this team really does relatively well, but after this,
it could get a bit hairy.
But at least for
now, U-Pitt should be able to get past this one with relative ease. The
Bulldogs just don't have the fight in them to be able to stick around with this
physical of a team, and they are going to end up getting trucked in one of the
ugliest games in the first legitimate round of the dance.