ESPN’s Game Day festivities on Villanova’s campus turned out to be the wonderful event all had anticipated, although the outcome of the much anticipated show-down between #4 Pitt and #9 Villanova did not turn out as hoped. The Panthers out-clawed the Cats by a score of 57-54 in a slugfest. Aston Gibbs (ACL sprain) and Corey Stokes (turf toe) did not play.
The Cats had a three point lead in the second half when tempers flared and Isaiah Armwood either threw an ill-advised soft punch at Robinson or grazed him as he attempted to place his arm around Mouph Yarou. He was called for a technical foul in what proved to be a major turning point in the game, and Pitt went on a 13-2 tear.
Antonio Pena turned an ankle and was hobbled for most of the game. Corey Fisher and James Bell fouled out. Yet the Cats clawed their way back and were down by only three with the ball in the closing seconds. Maalik Ways connected on a three-pointer that would have tied the game, but officials determined that his shot was released a fraction of a second after time expired.
More to come, but feel free to comment and assign team and player grades.