By Bryan Zarpentine @BZarp on March 17, 2014
A No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament wasn't exactly what the PIttsburgh Panthers were hoping for, but they have the potential to play a lot better and beat quality teams in the tournament. However, they need their key players to step up for them and lead the way. Here's a look at the top five players Pittsburgh will have during the 2014 NCAA tournament.
Artis is a wildcard for the Panthers. He's played a lot as a freshman, and if he can start to play like a sophomore late in the season and knock down some shots, he could be a key figure in Pittsburgh's tournament success.
When Robinson plays well, the Panthers are tough to beat. Case in point: his 19 points in Pittsburgh's win over North Carolina in the ACC tournament. If he's a frequent contributor in the tournament, the Panthers will be tough to beat.
Wright is Pittsburgh's third-leading scorer, and a third scorer is generally what separates the teams that get knocked out early from the teams that reach the tournament's second weekend. This is why Wright is so important. Pittsburgh isn't a high scoring team, but if Wright can get into double figures for them during the tournament, they'll be in good shape.
Zanna is the kind of post player that few teams in the NCAA tournament have, and he's playing great basketball late in the season. He's a good interior defender, which will slow down an opponent's inside scoring, and he's a ferocious rebounder, hauling in 21 boards against North Carolina in the ACC tournament. If Zanna stays out of foul trouble and can get a few buckets on the offensive end, he's a game-changer for the Panthers in the tournament.
Patterson is the guy that Pittsburgh can't win without. Like Talib Zanna, he's a fifth-year senior in a program that relies on its veterans to win games for them. The Panthers can't afford Patterson to have an off night during the tournament, because when the game's on the line and they need a basket, he's the one they'll turn to. That's why he'll be Pittsburgh's most important player during the NCAA tournament.
May 22, 2015 by Taylor Sturm
The Tennessee Volunteers will be excited for the 2015-16 season with the arrival of Rick Barnes from Texas, but they're probably going to struggle -- and that's okay. Read More
May 21, 2015 by Tim Letcher
The Kentucky Wildcats had a great season in 2015, winning 38 straight games before falling in the Final Four against the Wisconsin Badgers. Read More
May 20, 2015 by Tim Letcher
The Kentucky Wildcats and head coach John Calipari have been criticized for taking advantage of the so-called “one and done” rule in college basketball. Read More
May 19, 2015 by Campus Sports
John Calipari is reportedly interested in the New Orleans Pelicans head coaching job, leaving his Kentucky future in question. Read More
May 19, 2015 by Jerry Landry
Hopefully Tom Izzo won't feel too jilted after Caleb Swanigan has officially slipped to Purdue. Read More
May 19, 2015 by Tim Letcher
The North Carolina Tar Heels finished the 2014-15 season with a 26-12 record, including an 11-7 mark in the ACC. Read More
May 15, 2015 by Tim Letcher
The 2014-15 college basketball season was compelling largely due to its great storylines rather than its quality basketball. Read More
May 13, 2015 by Campus Sports
The field has been set for the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge and there are plenty of intriguing matchups. Read More