Monday, 29 January 2007

Pittsburgh defeats Villanova

In a fairly entertaining game, #7 Pittsburgh defeated Villanova 65-59, improving to 20-3 on the year. Some random thoughts I had on the game:

- Pittsburgh has an excellent record and a good team, but I just don't see them as a Final Four team. They are the class of the Big East, but I don't think they'll match up well against the elite of the NCAA. They are fundamentally sound, well coached, and talented, but I just don't see the Final Four in their future.

- I don't want to be all negative on Pittsburgh, because they did win, and they're very good. Two guys I really like (aside from the obvious Aaron Gray) are Levance Fields and Levon Kendall.

Fields is just a very solid PG. He's tough, he's a good shooter, and he will get up in your face defensively. He scored 20 points today, but I really like his decision-making. Only 2 assists, but one turnover. Plus, he passes the very subjective, "I think this is a guy that will take over at the end of games" test. Subjective, but important. To me at least.

Kendall is the glue guy. The numbers weren't impressive... 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists. But he just does a little bit of everything. He's solid at both ends and just fits in nicely with Pitt's other threats.

- For Villanova, Curtis Sumpter is still definitely not right. The numbers weren't bad... 21 points, 9 rebounds... but his shot just looks flat right now. He was 4/15 from the field, 1/5 from downtown, and frankly missed some shots badly. They need him to get healthy from the shin bruise and hamstring tightness.

- If Sumpter is healthy, I like Villanova to make the Tourney and possibly have the chance to win a game or two. They have depth inside with Sumpter, Will Sheridan, Shane Clark, and Dante Cunningham. They have a great shooter in Mike Nardi. They have a great finisher in Scottie Reynolds. And they have a great coach in Jay Wright. They are only 14-7 (and 3-5 in the conference), but I think they will make the Tourney.

What are your thoughts on the teams?