NCAA Bracket 2011 Predictions: Jamie Dixon Doesn't Have History on His Side
NCAA Bracket 2011 Predictions Are A Risky Proposition For Jamie Dixon and Pitt
To a man, Jamie Dixon has accomplished some remarkable things at Pittsburgh. Think about it, when he took over the program from Ben Howland in 2003, the Panthers had come off of back-to-back tournament appearances for the first time since 1987-1989.
Since then, he's built a powerhouse in Oakland that garnered itself another No. 1 seed in this year's bracket. But at the same time, his Panthers haven't lived up to the expectations of being a top seed. The Panthers have only made the Elite Eight once in Jamie Dixon's time at coach, which was also the only time the Panthers made the Elite Eight since 1974.
Now they've lost to some very good teams along the way. Oklahoma State, UCLA and Villanova all went to the Final Four when they beat the Panthers in 2004, 2007 and 2009 respectively. We all remember Scottie Reynolds going coast-to-coast to nail the game-winning shot. But that's indicative of the type of problems Pitt has in Tournament games.
The Panthers struggle to hit shots, the offense goes cold and they are susceptible to making mistakes on the defensive end. While we all remember the 2009 Elite Eight, we also have to remember that Pittsburgh almost became the first No. 1 to lose to a No. 16 in the First Round of 2009 when the Panthers let East Tennessee State hang around for most of the game.
If there's any chance for the Panthers to redeem themselves and finally make a Final Four, this is the year. They have an extremely easy road in their region with a crumbling BYU and a skeptical No. 2 seed in Florida. But we've also said that before with the Panthers.
The Panthers and Jamie Dixon will have chances to redeem themselves during the next couple of weeks. I wouldn't count on it though.
For more March Madness, head to Bleacher Report's March Madness page, where you can find a printable bracket and a guest column by Northern Colorado coach B.J. Hill.
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