- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
Winning streak shows Pitt still has a pulse
Georgetown, West Virginia among Panthers’ victims
A team only needs a few weeks to resuscitate its postseason hopes.
Just ask Pittsburgh.
The Panthers, an NCAA tournament mainstay for a decade, looked lost without point guard Travon Woodall. Once virtually invulnerable in the Steel City, they lost at home to Wagner. And Cincinnati. And Rutgers.
Life wasn’t much better away from home, and Pittsburgh lost eight straight games in a span of a month. Woodall returned from a groin and abdomen injury for the last of them, a Jan. 21 home loss to Louisville.
At 11-9, the Panthers hardly seemed like a team going anywhere. Instead, Woodall helped resurrect their NCAA chances, and Pittsburgh constructed a four-game winning streak that included victories over Georgetown and West Virginia.
Sunday’s defeat of reeling Villanova nudged the Panthers into a tie for 10th place in the Big East, just another small step toward the Panthers salvaging a once-unraveling season. And while Pittsburgh isn’t quite an NCAA-worthy team just yet at 15-9 overall and 4-7 in the Big East, the rest of its February is manageable.
The Panthers won’t see any of the Big East’s top four teams again until at least the conference tournament. The only ranked opponent in their final seven games is No. 24 Louisville.
The turnaround isn’t complete, of course, but Pittsburgh has a chance to author the best revival of the season. Its competition for that honor includes these five candidates:
• Arkansas: The Razorbacks were a pedestrian 5-3 with a galling loss to Houston in the middle December. Then first-year coach Mike Anderson’s team rattled off seven straight wins and began SEC play with a victory over Mississippi State.
Arkansas has since upended Michigan and Vanderbilt and enters Wednesday’s trip to Georgia at 16-7. But the Hogs have one gaping hole in their postseason resume: An ugly 0-7 record away from Fayetteville. If they can snag a couple on the road in the next few weeks, they might be an NCAA tournament team.
• Drexel: The preseason CAA favorites stumbled to a 2-4 start, including an unexpected loss to Norfolk State and double-digit setbacks against Virginia, Saint Joseph’s and Delaware away from home. But since then, Bruiser Flint and Co. are 18-1, including an 11-game winning streak entering Wednesday’s trip to James Madison.
The Dragons don’t have enough of a nonconference profile to contend for an at-large NCAA berth, but with victories over George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth, they’re the best bet to earn the top seed in the CAA tournament.
• Iowa State: Now would be a fine time for the Mayor to seek re-election. Or at least a new contract. After all, Cyclones star-turned-NBA-player-turned-Cyclones-coach Fred Hoiberg has his alma mater at 17-6 and safely in this week’s projected NCAA field after a forgettable 5-3 start.
The highlights? Consecutive home defeats of Kansas and Kansas State, part of a three-game winning streak entering Tuesday’s visit to Oklahoma State. Iowa State hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament since 2005, a streak that could easily end next month.
• Miami: Jim Larranaga inherited a team with the backcourt and depth to make a push for the postseason, but the Hurricanes were a lackluster (though not embarrassing) 5-4 to open the season. Then big man Reggie Johnson came back from a knee injury, fortifying Miami inside and increasing the effectiveness of forward Kenny Kadji.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- FISHER: Shades of Berlin in the South China Sea
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- HURT: Wilson and Obama ... 100 years apart, but so alike
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Air Force sees resource shift as U.S. exits Afghanistan, heads to Africa
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.