PITTSBURGH — At one time, a single shot signified Pitt’s dominance at Madison Square Garden.
It was Levance Fields’ step-back 3-pointer to beat Duke in overtime, 65-64, early in the 2007-08 season. And at that time it was just another typical Pitt moment in its home away from home, the Garden.
Little did Pitt fans know, that shot was the beginning of the end of Pitt’s dominance in New York.
Pitt went a perfect 6-0 at MSG in 2007-08, winning four games in a row in the Big East Tournament to take home the crown. Since then the Panthers have been anything but dominant.
The next year, Pitt made just one appearance at the Garden, losing to West Virginia in its opening game of the tournament, 74-60. Last season, Pitt dropped another two games in the ‘Big Apple’ to Indiana and Notre Dame.
All told, Pitt is just 3-5 at the Garden the last three years.
And it’s a shame because this season started out with so much promise. With wins against Maryland (79-70) and Texas (68-66), it seemed like Pitt got its NYC swagger back.
But then a one-point loss to St. John’s and the 76-74 loss to UConn yesterday — both on last second shots — proved it’s clear that Pitt has only one home: The Pete.
Pitt is giving other teams signature moments at Madison Square Garden and, in turn, ending excellent regular seasons on a sour note.
It’s gonna take a big turn around and a lot of wins in the coming years for Pitt to reclaim Madison Square Garden as its second home.
Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog