Pitt Basketball Out in Round of 64 of NCAA Tournament
Second Round: No. 9 seed Wichita State 73, No. 8 seed Pitt 55
By: Nate Barnes
Pitt men’s basketball ended its 2012-13 campaign for good last Thursday with its second loss in as many post-season contests. After falling to Syracuse in their first game at Madison Square Garden as a part of the last installment of the current Big East Tournament, the No. 8-seeded Panthers were upset by No. 9 Wichita State in the NCAA Tournament’s “second” round. Pitt never seemed to have a true handle on the game, with its leads only coming as slim margins that soon dissipated in the first half. When the teams switched baskets, it was all about Wichita State.
With a five point halftime lead, the Shockers outscored Pitt 47-34 in the second half and coasted to a 73-55 victory. Malcolm Armstead scored a game-high 22 points and Cleanthony Early scored 21 off the bench to give the Shockers more than enough firepower to overcome a Panther team that seemed listless on the offensive end. Adding insult to injury, the 18-point loss was the largest any team dealt to Pitt all season.
A large part of Pitt’s lack of success was the inability of Tray Woodall and Lamar Patterson to simply make baskets. The two players combined to shoot 2-19 from the field, with Patterson scoring nine points and Woodall finishing his career as a Panther with two points. Woodall was particularly ineffective, as his 1-12 mark from the field was plagued by poor shot selection, air-balls from three-point range, and solid defense by Wichita State’s backcourt.
On a positive note for Pitt, Steven Adams played one of his better games of the year in registering his second career double-double. Adams notched 13 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, and provided a glimpse into what Panther fans will hopefully see from the young center next season. With this loss, Pitt closed the book on their history in the Big East Conference. Now, Jamie Dixon and company can look ahead to their future as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
After the game, WPTS’ Yusuf Ahmad asked Woodall a difficult question about the end of his career as a Pitt Panther. Click on the link below to watch a video of the question with Woodall’s response.