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Pittsburgh Looks To Finally Get Over Hump In 2011 NCAA Tournament

The Verizon Center is hosting four first round games of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Thursday that will feature some of the best teams in the Nation. You can find the schedule for Thursday's games here. We're going to preview each of the eight teams that will be playing on Thursday.

PITT Panthers:

Coach: Jamie Dixon

Conference: Big East (Regular Season Champion)

Record: 27-5 (15-3)

Best Player And Why: Ashton Gibbs is everything you would want from a big game point guard. he can get everyone on the team involved, and he isn't afraid to take, and make, a big shot for his team. He's shooting a cartoonish 48% from behind the arc on the season, and is pretty much automatic when he is left open.

Strength: They have great size at every position, and they have the kind of gritty toughness that you would expect from a team from Pittsburgh. They can play lock down defense at every position and they will out-tough you when need be. Sometimes NCAA Tournament games are a street fight, and I don't think anyone plays better in those games than the Panthers.

Weakness: Balanced scoring. They get excellent production from Gibbs and fellow guard Brad Wanamaker, but they don't really have a lot of other scoring option. Some of their players are just on the floor for their defensive contributions. If you can lock them down and force Gibbs and Wanamaker to beat you, you might be able to outscore them.

Starting Lineup: Ashton Gibbs - Brad Wanamaker - Gilbert Brown - Nasir Robinson - Gary McGhee

Prediction: I think it's safe to assume that Pitt isn't going to be the first No. 1 seed to lose n the first round. They beat UNC-Asheville going away.

If you haven't filled out your bracket yet, it's not too late! We have a printable bracket that's been updated to reflect the results of the first-four wins.