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Pitt fans have voted and here is their take on the Panthers top 10 moments in the Big East.
Almost 1,300 votes were cast in our two polls and most of the votes mirrored the top 10 the Post-Gazette sports staff chose.
The P-G staff compiled its top 10 and ran them in chronological order in today’s paper. The way our fan voting was set up, we get to see how people viewed certain moments.
I have to say I was surprised by the pie chart in the 2004-2012 poll. The victory against Duke at Madison Square Garden in 2007 received more votes than the victory in the NCAA tournament over Xavier a year later, when the Panthers finally got over the Sweet 16 hump.
As someone who has covered the team for 10 seasons, I would definitely rank the win over Xavier higher than the Duke game, a December non-conference contest. And I write this knowing full well that Jamie Dixon considers the Duke game the most important of his tenure.
My personal opinion, it was a bigger deal to finally break through the Sweet 16 barrier and get to an Elite 8 for the first time in 35 years. I watched some really good teams fall short in the second round of the NCAA tournament. I watched the 2002 team lose to Kent State in Lexington after Indiana upset Duke. Other than the loss to Villanova in 2009, I believe that was Pitt’s best shot at a Final Four. People will argue with me over that, especially those who were around for the 1988 loss to Vanderbilt, but I believe that to be true.
I also covered the Duke game at Madison Square Garden. I understand the emotion of winning that game for Mike Cook. And I understand Dixon and his perspective on beating the preeminent program in the country. I just don’t feel like a regular-season victory trumps a postseason milestone win. Just my opinion, though. Obviously, many fans felt different.
In the 1983-2003 poll, once again the fans chose a regular season game over an important postseason contest. Send it in Jerome narrowly beat out Pitt’s 2003 Big East tournament championship, the first in program history. If I had to rank them, I would choose the Big East tournament win because of its importance and what it did for the program. But in regards to Lane’s dunk, I understand how fans would vote for it. It is the iconic image for Pitt basketball after all these years.
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