Views from Peanut Heaven

If the Panthers have gotten accustomed to meeting the Huskies in the championship round of the Big East Tournament, they should also be used to playing Boston College somewhere in the tournament's progression.

The Panthers defeated the Eagles last year in the semi-final round. But, this year, it was the Eagles the Panthers were supposed to face. Many media experts felt that Pittsburgh would meet Syracuse in a rubber match, but the Eagles put away that thought by overcoming a 9-point halftime deficit to upset the Orangemen 57 – 54.

The Panthers meanwhile put away a scrappy Virginia Tech team 74 – 61 earlier in the day. Jaron Brown scored a team-high 20 points in the win and Julius Page added 14. It amounts to the most points the two scored together in close to a month.

The Hokies hung close to the Panthers, pulling within 7 in the final minutes, but without their leader Bryant Matthews (who fouled out), the Hokies lacked a go-to shooter to negate the Panthers' clutch foul-shooting down the stretch.

Now, the Panthers must use that clutch foul-shooting against a very hot Boston College team that has the talent to pull the upset. Led by Craig Smith and Uka Agbi, the Eagles have the girth to pound the ball inside, which could potentially cause problems for the Panthers. In other words, if the Panthers remain cold from the outside, they could be in for a long ugly night.

The Eagles chipped away in the second half against the Orangemen. With Craig Forth in foul trouble, the Eagles used their size and strength to take the lead with just over a minute left.

Gerry McNamara had a chance to tie the game in the end, but his 3-pointer was not true and the Eagles had an upset.

John Biles

Pittsburgh played their patented first half - lull you to sleep and then bust out. Pitt went on a 15-4 run to end the first half. Virginia Tech star Bryant Matthews fouled out with seven minutes to go and the Hokies couldn't keep up. The big statistic was Pittsburgh held the edge in assist to turnover ratio. Pittsburgh had 17 assists and 10 turnovers, while Virginia Tech had 13 assist's and 16 turnovers. Pittsburgh will move on and play the red hot Boston College Eagles, winners of 10 of their last 11 games.

It was great to see Julius Page play like his former self. Page came into the game on a 5-30 shooting slump. Page penetrated, pulled up with that soft touch and dropped 14 on the Hokies.

Who puts the "X" in the Bronx? Carl Krauser of course, 16 points and stellar defense. He is the most underrated point guard in college basketball.

Chris Taft had a relatively modest day with 8 points and 5 rebounds. He had his customary diet of some Darryl Dawkins-type thunder dunks.

Chevon - 5 of 6 field goals, 12 points and 6 boards. Troutman had his prototype blue-collar day.

Jaron Brown was my player of the game. He has been off his game lately; it was nice to see him rise to the occasion. Brown went 20 points, 6 assists, and 5 boards. He played his usual on-you-like-a-glove defense.

Mark McCarroll - no big stats from Mark but 17 tough minutes. He drew a couple of huge charging fouls. This kid is always hustling up and down the court.

Bob Lichtenfels

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