RTC Live: Pittsburgh @ St. John’s

Posted by rtmsf on February 19th, 2011

Game #145.  St. John’s has established relevancy, but do they have what it takes to take down the Big East’s best team?

#4 Pittsburgh puts a 12-1 conference record, one that includes a five-game winning streak, on the line Saturday as the Panthers take on the Red Storm of St. John’s University in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Garden is Pitt’s self-proclaimed “home away from home.” The Panthers were named Madison Square Garden’s “Team of the Decade” last year and have played 37 games on the Garden floor since 2000-01. Pittsburgh has advanced to seven of the last 10 Big East Tournament Finals, winning the tournament twice in the decade (2003 and 2008). Thinking of the Garden as “home” however, may not work to Pittsburgh’s advantage, as the Panthers are a better road team in conference play (6-0) than home team (6-1). Pitt’s only two losses this season were “at home.” Sidelined point guard Ashton Gibbs has been cleared to play and will most likely get some court time, especially if the Panthers are in great need of long range shooting. St. John’s, 8-5 in conference play and 16-9 overall is looking for their first NCAA bid in nine postseasons. The Johnnies have compiled a resume that should give the Selection Committee a lot to chew on, as the members will have to balance losses to St. Mary’s, Fordham and St. Bonaventure against wins over (then #11) Georgetown, (#10) Notre Dame, (#2) Duke and (#10) Connecticut. Rookie Coach Steve Lavin and his band of seniors would love to bump their resume with a win over #4 Pittsburgh. Will it be “business as usual” for the Pitt Panthers, or will the St. John’s Giant Killers strike again? Join RTC Live noon on Saturday at Madison Square Garden as Pittsburgh visits St. John’s.

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