The Van Buren Boys

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Pitt Again

So, I really enjoy when the Hoyas play Pitt. It is once again an opportunity to revisit the Curse of Smizik. Bob Smizik is a columnist for the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette. In 2005, during JTIII's first season as the Hoyas head coach and on the eve of the Big East opener between Georgetown and Pitt, Mr. Smizik wrote a column arguing that "the Big East will go through radical change within five years," i.e., the league would break up--with the "football schools" "form[ing] a powerhouse basketball conference" and the eight Catholic schools, which would "have better chances of success in a smaller league where the teams have more in common," forming their own. Basically, he argued that the Catholic schools could not compete with the football schools. Of course, the Catholic schools have at least matched (and probably outperformed) the football schools over the past three years. Indeed, that evening the Hoyas beat Pitt in Pittsburgh and put an exclamation point on just how wrong Smizik's thinking was--hence the Curse of Smizik. (Note: He also speculated that Jay Wright would leave Nova!) And the Hoyas under JTIII have only lost once to Pitt since that column was written. Like a Panther chest-bumping at mid-court with eight minutes to go (everybody should remember that one), Mr. Smizik foolishly assumed to know the future based on scant data points and his own biases.

So, in honor of Mr. Smizik, let us re-live the most recent thumping the Hoyas gave the mighty Panthers. Enjoy.

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