The final game between Pitt and Villanova had both coaches feeling a bit nostalgic after the Panthers pulled out a 73-64 overtime win at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt finished the series on top, 33-32. The Panthers won six consecutive games after losing to the Wildcats in the 2009 NCAA tournament, a loss that prevented the Panthers from reaching the Final Four.
It was fitting in many ways that Villanova was the final home game for Pitt as members of the Big East Conference. As in-state rivals, Pitt and Villanova battled on the court and the recruiting trail. For now, they’ll only fight for recruits because there are no plans to schedule one another in non-conference games once Pitt joins the ACC in the fall.
“You wonder how it can get any better than this,” said Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, when asked to reflect on the final Big East home game. “Our hope is to make the ACC the best conference in the country. That’s why they came after us and Syracuse. They brought us in there to build it up. That’s what we plan to do.”
Villanova coach Jay Wright was also a bit sentimental about the end of the series.
“We have great respect for this program,” Wright said. “I have great respect for Jamie. I always felt because of the way they play we can get a judge on where we are as a program when we play them. I like how they play. It’s similar to how we play. I don’t think it’s a coincidence the year we went to the Final Four we beat them twice. That’s the only time we’ve beaten them twice. That’s how good you have to be to beat them twice. You have to be a Final Four team. I’m going to miss this.”
|< Prev||Next >|