Pitt is down 5 with 4.4 seconds left. They have the ball, but even if they were fouled shooting a 3 and made the free throw, they'd still lose. Pitt's season was hanging in the balance. The NIT wolf was lurking. A loss to Clemson would force Pitt to have a very good ACC tournament to get an at-large bid.
"I don't believe that's going to be enough time," said the announcer. Robinson inbounds to Patterson who quickly buries a three with only two seconds going off the clock. Pitt called timeout. They couldn't let Clemson inbound the ball because with one dribble the game would be over.
I yelled so loud whenever that shot went in. My fiancée might actually be partially deaf right now. I'm sorry. On a side note, finding the accent mark to type fiancée is a pain in the ass. You know what's easier to type? Wife. I assure you the ease with which this new title can be typed is not the only reason I'm getting married. Anyway, being the cynical Pitt fan that I am, I managed to convince myself that it was still in his hands after the first few replays. Pitt's lost twice on last-second shots by the other team so it only seemed fitting that they would lose because they themselves couldn't get off a last-second shot in time. It counted though, and Pitt scored the first seven points of overtime to take control. It was their first lead since early in the first half. Clemson pulled to within 3 with under 20 seconds left, but Wright made two more free throws to ice it. Pitt moves to 4-0 in overtime games this season so basically all they have to do is get through regulation tied and they'll be golden. Let's give some grades.
Lamar Patterson - Patterson was huge all afternoon. He had 30 points on 10-19 shooting (5-9 from deep) including the three at the end of regulation and another that opened the OT scoring. He made up for some poor play down the stretch. He had a turnover and missed two shots with Pitt down only 2 (and then 4) in the closing minutes. He still had 30 points, so I can't give him anything other than an A for this effort.
Cameron Wright - Wright had the two game-clinching free throws I mentioned earlier to finish with 16 points. He also had four steals, which means I can bring back this picture.
Michael Young - He had 7 points, but he didn't do anything the last 23 minutes of the game. He also missed two free throws in the final minute of overtime that could have put the game out of reach.
Talib Zanna - He had a double-double, but he didn't score in the second half. He finally reached double figures with a layup late in overtime. He also fouled out.
James Robinson - I can't complain with 9 points, 7 assists, 2 steals and 0 turnovers with 60% shooting. Sure he missed that three at the end, but it worked out alright for Pitt.
Derrick Randall - He made a free throw and committed two fouls in four minutes.
I am truly busting out all the old pictures for this recap.
Jamel Artis - I don't remember much from him this game. He had two baskets early in the contest. One of them was a dunk off a nice feed from Robinson.
Josh Newkirk - Newkirk came into this game having made 7 three-pointers in a row. He missed his first two threes in this one. He only made one shot all game, but it was pretty important. The pump fake was entirely unnecesary on the final shot, and I'm so glad that he still got it off in time. If that hesitation cost Pitt a tournament bid (and it very well could have) that would have been a tough pill to swallow for the kid. Luckily, it counted.
Pitt plays Wake Forest in the 2nd round of the ACC Tournament at 2:00 tomorrow. Thankfully, Wake beat Notre Dame in the first round so Pitt didn't have to deal with them again. Pitt's right on the bubble. ESPN has them as a 10th seed, CBS an 11th, and Yahoo a 12th. If they lose to Wake, they're out. They'll probably have to win tomorrow and beat UNC on Friday to clinch an at-large berth.
Hail to Pitt,