It's Senior Day at Pitt. If you're a Panthers player, you're probably feeling pretty decent about yourself. There are a lot of friends and family in the arena. A nice ceremony is planned before the game. There's going to be a national television audience. You have the opportunity to play the number one team in the country on your home court. And Virginia, really, doesn't score a lot. They're not terribly imposing other than that Jack Salt fellow. But he's no Steven Adams, is he? Get hot from deep, and you shoot a lot of threes, and look out. You made thirteen when you beat the Hoos at home last year. Simple enough. You can do this.
Cue eerie, imposing music. The Wahoo Leviathan enters stage left.
Before you can break a sweat, the game is essentially over. Coach Stallings, not known for his tact, calls a timeout. There's 17:07 left in the first half. You're trailing 8-0. Endure the tirade on the sideline, take a deep breath, and get back in the game. It's still early. The first television timeout hasn't even happened yet. It couldn't possibly get worse.
It got worse. A lot worse. At that point in the game, the Wahoo Leviathan was only surfacing. It hadn't even begun to impose its will, to cause real destruction to your gameplan. Brace yourself Pitt, for the fun has only just begun.
8 to 0
14 to 3
Don't make it angry. You won't like it when it's angry.
22 to 7
25 to 7
You're begging for mercy now. But it's much too late for that. At least it will be halftime soon. Coach Stallings will surely understand.
27 to 7
30 to 7
Halftime, finally. At this point, you've gone down in history. The best you can hope for is to avoid becoming a meme. The first half has gone viral, unfortunately. College basketball social media is aware. They know the important numbers: 30 to 7, 1 for 13 from three, 1 or 22 from the field, 4.5% shooting, and no field goals for the last ten minutes of the half.
The second half begins and rolls along. You've never been more thankful for Tony Bennett's Five Pillars. Or his impeccable character. He's not going to run the score up like a certain Rat Lord would try. Coach Bennett will go to the bench early and often. He'll go deep into that bench too. There's still a chance to save face. Win the second half. Buck the odds and top fifty points.
The Wahoo Leviathan lets up but it doesn't stop feeding. It will rest when the final buzzer sounds. Mercy will come but like some predators, it's still going to toy with its kill.
You'll score 30 points in the second half. That's an entirely respectable number. But don't expect to cut into the lead. You're still going to surrender 36 points. Yes, one less than you scored the entire game. Guys like Marco Anthony, Jay Huff, Justice Bartley, Austin Kastra, and Trevon Gross Jr. are going to compete. They work hard and they're confident. They're hungry. They're going to take their turn at the Panther carcass. The Wahoo Leviathan has a large appetite.
The final buzzer sounds.
There's no avoiding the outcome. No one was really sure how the game would play out, but everyone not affiliated with Pitt saw something like this coming. People will eventually forget 66 to 37, 30 to 7, 1 for 22, and 4.5%. You probably won't. But you'll also be thankful that your time with the Wahoo Leviathan is done for the year. Not everyone is so lucky.
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- The Slings And Arrows of Rude Fortune by , posted on September 7, 2017, in Blog. Has tags Conference, Devon Hall, Isaiah Wilkins, Notre Dame (March 3, 2018), @ Louisville (March 1, 2018), @ Pittsburgh (February 24, 2018), Georgia Tech (February 21, 2018), Virginia Tech (February 10, 2018), Syracuse (January 9, 2018), North Carolina (January 6, 2018), @ Virginia Tech (January 3, 2018).