As a kid, I remember buying tickets off scalpers at a corner with my dad and brother so we could go see the Pitt Panthers' football team, playing with the likes of Sal Sunseri, Hugh Green, Bill Fralic, and Dan Marino back in the late 70s. I just missed the Tony Dorsett years when they won a national title. They were a powerhouse football team back then, but one that utterly collapsed in the 80s never to recover. The intervening years, until Jamie Dixon arrived and rebuilt the basketball program, were mostly filled with one disappointment after another. Watching Pitt's win today over UConn brought back memories of those days when the football Panthers competed with the nation's elite. Not since then have I seen a Pitt team with so much potential. Jamie Dixon has done something that I would not have thought possible in turning the Panthers into a national basketball power in a conference already loaded with elite teams. He is quickly emerging as one of the best college basketball coaches in the land.
After watching this game, this is the first Pitt team that truly looks like it might have a real shot of winning the NCAA Tournament. The schedule will be brutal down the stretch ensuring this group is battle tested and ready for when the games matter the most. Congratulations to the university, Coach Dixon, and his Panthers.