DAILY DISH: Pittsburgh stinks, Kansas rolls over No. 3 Baylor

By: Kels Dayton

  • Pittsburgh has struggled mightily this season despite lofty preseason expectations. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    At 11-8 and 0-6 in the Big East, the Pittsburgh Panthers have been impossibly bad this season. Among the lowlights are a home loss to Wagner, an embarrassing 39-point output against Rutgers (of all teams) and an incredible seven-game losing streak. In the words of Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On?” Pitt has been the model of consistency in the Big East over the past decade, having posted 11 consecutive seasons of 20 or more wins. The Panthers have won at least 25 games in 9 of those seasons, and haven’t finished with a sub-.500 record since 1999.

    This year, Pittsburgh was supposed to be a Final Four threat with the return of preseason All-American Ashton Gibbs and the addition of big-time recruits Malcolm Gilbert and Khem Birch to go alongside talented forwards Nasir Robinson and Dante Taylor. But the Panthers have found any number of ways to lose games, from pathetic shooting efforts (21 percent against Rutgers at home), to late-game meltdowns (see Wagner, DePaul). An injury to point guard Travon Woodall doesn’t help, but Pitt should be much better than this. The Panthers won 30 games and captured a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament just last year. It’s incomprehensible that a team that has been such a pillar of consistency for so long could fall this far from grace so quickly.

  • Junior forward Thomas Robinson has been a revelation for Kansas this season, and could be the frontrunner for National Player of the Year. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    Kansas proved once again why it should never be doubted when it comes to the class of the Big 12. The Jayhawks hammered previously-unbeaten Baylor, 92-74, in front of a frenzied Allen Fieldhouse on ESPN’s Big Monday. Tyshawn Taylor had perhaps the best game of his much-maligned career, pouring in 28 points and dishing out 6 assists and leaving the game to a standing ovation with under a minute left. Midseason Player of the Year Thomas Robinson came through with another spectacular effort, putting up 27 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in a gripping performance. Robinson has been an absolute beast this season, averaging 18.4 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.

It’s amazing to think that he was hidden on the bench just last season, averaging just 7.6 points in 14 minutes per game as Marcus and Markieff Morris got most of the playing time. The fact that Robinson has emerged so powerfully, much like former Jayhawks studs Darnell Jackson and Cole Aldrich did in seasons past, is a true credit to how well Bill Self has gotten things going in Lawrence. Kansas doesn’t rebuild, it reloads, and Robinson is one heck of a bullet to have waiting in the holster.

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  1. Pingback: NCAA Tournament: Sweet 16 Predictions: Midwest Region 2. Kansas vs. 11. NC State « ROUNDBALL DAILY

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