Whether it has been deserved or not some teams just have a reputation for getting bounced early from the NCAA Tournament. One such team is the Pittsburgh Panthers. Pitt’s brand of basketball over the years has been the kind of physical style that does not normally translate as well in the big dance. Standing in the Panthers’ way of changing the national perception of their tourney performances is the Wichita State Shockers, who themselves will be looking to be more than just another mid-major.
What to Watch For
Nobody is more redundant about how important Steven Adams is to Pittsburgh than myself. The 7 footer is going to have to continue to develop and play well if the Panthers expect to come away with victories throughout the tournament. Adams will need to be equally aggressive on offense as he is on the glass.
The Shockers primary objective is going to be to slow down Adams. One way or another the play of the big man is likely going to determine the outcome of the game. Wichita State is not that undersized (In an overall position sense), that they cannot compete for rebounds and put-backs with Pitt. Only exception being, redundantly, Adams.
Pitt should have just more firepower in their arsenal than Wichita State. If the Panthers employ their 10 men rotation throughout the game expect the Shockers to tire out late in the second half.
Pitt 71 Wichita State 64
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone