Panthers Move On

A warning to all NCAA tournament teams: You don't want to play Boston College.<br><br> If the Eagles proved anything in their 62 – 53 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers in the Big East Conference Tournament semi-final round, its that they are willing and able to play just as tough, slug-fest, gritty basketball as the Panthers.

At times, Eagle All-Big East forward Craig Smith made Panther forward Mark McCarroll his personal whipping boy as Chevon Troutman struggled with early and late foul trouble.

But in the end, the Panthers defense and experience took the slipper from the Eagles' Cinderella foot.

In all respect to sophomore Carl Krauser and his team-high 18 points, the game ball should go to Troutman. He picked up 4 fouls defending Smith, but every foul was well used. He had a team-high 6 steals, at times using his superior speed to overwhelm Smith.

Troutman also was a force on the boards, tipping a key put back off a Jaron Brown miss with just over 3 minutes left to freshman Chris Taft to help preserve a two possession lead.

The Panthers even got clutch outside shooting, although not a whole lot of outside shooting. Mark McCarroll nailed a 3-point shot with a second left on the shot clock to give Pitt a 48 – 42 lead. McCarroll pump faked and got his man in the air with 3 seconds on the shot clock, then took a step, planted and made true the shot.

Pitt also received a scare when Jaron Brown went down with an apparent twisted ankle. He received treatment and returned to the game, stealing the ball and scoring with a great burst of speed. However, his status will be monitored throughout the evening and into tomorrow.

The Panthers await the winner of Villanova and Connecticut. The Eagles should be looking at a probable #6 or #7 seed. And woe be the team that gets to take the court with them.

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