Pitt Basketball Earns Third Place at NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament
On Wednesday, the Pitt Panthers basketball team played a non-conference game against a high profile opponent in the No. 4 ranked Michigan Wolverines at Madison Square Garden in New York. It was the most talked about non-conference game since Pitt played Duke at Madison Square Garden during the 2007 basketball season. The Michigan game was part of the NIT Season Tip-Off, a tournament annually held at Madison Square Garden during Thanksgiving week. Even though this should have been the Championship Game, it was merely a Semifinal matchup between Pitt and Michigan.
The Panthers came out firing in the first half as they shot 51.9% from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc as they led by as many as 8 points. But, a Michigan surge in the final minute reduced the Panthers lead to only 4 points at halftime. Michigan’s talent truly showed in the second half as the Wolverines went on to defeat the Panthers 67-62 to advance to the Championship against Kansas State. Pitt was left to play Delaware in the Consolation Game.
The Panthers looked angry in their Consolation Game on Friday as they blasted Delaware 85-59 to earn third place in the tournament. Pitt jumped out to a 26-8 advantage midway through the first half and they never looked back in this game. Four starters reached double figures (Talib Zanna 18 pts, Lamar Patterson 16 pts, Steven Adams 13 pts, Tray Woodall 13 pts) and JJ Moore also contributed 10 points off the bench. Even though they didn’t win the tournament, the Pittsburgh Panthers showed the college basketball world just how talented they are as they had No. 4 Michigan on the ropes and they crushed Delaware. Pitt sent a message that they can compete with any team in college basketball and that they are back after the disappointment of last season.
Listen to the highlights from the Pitt-Michigan game by clicking on the audio player below: