Itâ€™s big doings in the Big East as the two clubs that are tied for first place, the Pittsburg Panthers (11-2 Big East, 24- 4 overall) and the Georgetown Hoyas (11- 2 Big East, 21- 5 overall) meet at 2 pm today. When the two teams met on January 13 of this year the Panthers beat the Hoyas 74- 69. That was Georgetownâ€™s last loss.The teams are evenly matched and both enter todayâ€™s contest playing some of their best basketball. Pittsburgh has won 14 of its last 16 and Georgetown has been victorious in 10 straight.
Georgetown may have the upper hand today because Pittsburgh will be missing its 7â€™-2â€? center Aaron Gray (14.4 PPG and 10.5 RPG). That should give Georgetownâ€™s 7-foot center Roy Hibbert (12.8 PPG and 6.9 RPG) same extra room underneath. Gray has a sprained ankle.
For Georgetown guards Jessie Sapp (9.3 PPG, 3.2 APG) and Jonathan Wallace (11.2 PPG, 3.2 APG) offer solid ball handling and scoring, with Wallace being the teamâ€™s best three-point man, shooting 48%. Forward Jeff Green is the clubâ€™s leading scorer, averaging 13.7 PPG. He also dishes off 3.7 APG. Hibbert hits 70% of his shots from the floor.
The Panthers will really miss Aaron Grayâ€™s scoring today. Point man Levance Fields (9.8 PPG. 4.5 APG) will be the floor general. Guard Ronald Ramon is the best three-point man, hitting 46%. Forward Levon Kendall (5.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG) may see more action with Gray out.
In comparing statistics, Georgetown enters the game with a slight advantage on defense and Pittsburgh a bit of an edge on offense. However, over the past 10 games, itâ€™s fairly even with each team hitting an average of 50% of their shots, while opponents are completing only 40% of their field goals.
Finishing first in the conference gives that top team the number one seed in their tournament, which is a nice advantage but no more. Itâ€™s one step in the process to winning the Big East tournament and getting the best seed possible in the NCAA Tournament.
The latest line shows the Hoyas at -6.5 partly due to home court and Grayâ€™s injury.