Pitt is being treated like royalty for playing Rhode Island last night. Really? The Rams are a quality program...middle of the pack A-10, but come on. This isn't the BCS where a loss kills you, and the Panthers were guaranteed a trip to New York anyhow. So what is the big deal. Another reason to like these new tournament formats if you ask me. And you don't have to look outside of their own conference to find other teams doing the same thing. Syracuse hosts Northern Iowa on Friday night, Georgetown travels to Old Dominion and Seton Hall goes to Temple. It makes sense. But Pitt in a national spotlight made it look like it is doing something nobody else is doing and for some reason everybody bought in. But in reality, what was the Panthers chance of losing the game? Kenpom.com said 7%. So that seemed worth it. And maybe it was less than that. The Panthers weren't exactly stellar and still controlled most of the second half. Ultimately these are the types of the games that get you ready for the season and that is what this is about. Give the Panthers credit for that. But be careful how much.
Ok, so how worried should they be in Tennessee? Well that is a tough question. If it were just based on last night's performance, I'd say not much. These types of things happen and recent history says it really doesn't matter. But there is that thing of the Bruce Pearl/NCAA Investigation hanging over the Volunteers head. So there might be some real cause for concern. Let's watch carefully how the Vols do with Chattanooga, Belmont and Middle Tennessee before they face Pittsburgh in December. Of course, the Chattanooga game is the start of the Preseason NIT so we'll get to see them against some more quality competition before then. Provided they don't lose last night. It bears watching.
No games tonight. Withdrawal already. So we're looking at tomorrow's schedule. Maryland is playing Charleston. Another one of those early season tough ones. I caught glimpses of the Terps last night and they seemed a bit shaky early. But they seem very athletic and I could see them being a surprise in the ACC. Still tomorrow night could be a surprise. Charleston will then take off at College Park and go open the Milan Brown era in Worcester. I'll bet Milan and the staff in Worcester wish they had a game under their belts.
The Mount of course opens play in Dayton. All the preseason scrimmages are done. Things went a bit smoother over the weekend with Towson. The key to the season as I see it...is going to be how much the Mount can capitalize on its advantages. That would be upfront. Therefore, the guards need to keep control of the basketball and let the experience upfront be an advantage for this team. I think it should be interesting to see how that develops over the season. It all starts Saturday afternoon at 2pm in the Arena where the Mount won the biggest game in program history.