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Game Preview & Open Thread: Pittsburgh vs. Texas in CBE Classic Final

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Game #4: Pittsburgh Panthers (4-0) vs No. 3 Texas Longhorns (3-0)

9:25 p.m. * Sprint Center * Kansas City, MO

TV: ESPN2 / Radio: 98.1 FM


Very quick Keys to the Game:

1. Remember the Big Fella: The more Dexter Pittman touches the ball, the better. This is both on the Texas guards to play in the halfcourt through Dexter as it is on Pittman to make himself available and keep his defender on his back.

2. Limit the Turnovers: Texas is turning the ball over on 22.6% of their possessions, good for 228th in the country. That is horrible and unacceptable for a team this talented.

3. Keep the Focus: We saw last night what this team is capable of when they are focused. When focused on defense: 26-13 in the first half and 47-22 and the second half. When they lost focus, forgot about Pittman, and consistenly overran or didn't find shooters: 25-12 Iowa.

Pittsburgh is a much better team than is Iowa and I expect this to be a close game throughout. If Texas were as talented but had more experience at the guard spots, then this one wouldn't be close. But until the Longhorns gain that experience, limit the silly freshman plays, and remember that they are an inside-out team first, then these type of games will be challenges.

I expect a hard fought and physical 40 minutes. Prediction: Texas sinks enough free throws to pull away late, 74-68.