Thursday, March 21, 2013 8:35 pm
PA blues hit state with big chance for redemption
By DAN GELSTONAP Basketball Writer
Pittsburgh, a minor upset victim.
Bucknell, from underdog to underwhelming end.
It was an 0 for 2 effort on the state's first big day of the tournament.
Good news for Keystone hoops fans, there are three more chances Friday to get a win. La Salle, which won a First Four game, Villanova and Temple all play on Friday. That could mean some torn allegiances to Philadelphia hoops fans who have tickets to tournament games (none involving those teams) at the Wells Fargo Center.
Hopefully they'll show the games on the concourse bars.
Basketball fans tend to toss aside their rivalries and band together to root for home state teams in the tournament. Temple coach Fran Dunphy said he was pulling for the Explorers to win in Dayton, Ohio. Several Explorers left tickets for Owls to watch at the sold-out arena.
Bucknell and Pitt put the brakes on the good times. Wichita State thumped Pittsburgh 73-55 and Bucknell blew a second-half lead in a 68-56 loss to Butler. One reason? Both teams' star players went bust at the wrong time.
The 11th-seeded Bison couldn't overcome an off day from two-time Patriot League Player of the year Mike Muscala, who had nine points, only the second time this season he's failed to reach double figures.
Pitt's Tray Woodall finished with two points on 1-of-12 shooting, including 0 of 5 from 3-point range, with five turnovers.
"Today was not our day," Panthers coach Jamie Dixon said. "We didn't play well in any facet, really, and I'm sorry that it ended this way for those guys."
Temple coach Fran Dunphy, Villanova's Jay Wright and La Salle's John Gianinni can only hope they're not giving the same speech on Friday.
Follow Dan Gelston at http://www.Twitter.com/APGelston