The officials were more of a factor. Foul line performance is going to be a MUCH, MUCH bigger factor. Pitt's players have to sink the foul shots to advance deep into the tournament.
Pitt says fatigue is not factor: "Pitt says fatigue is not factorThe other 'fitness factor' that is worthy of some serious consideration -- Denver is at altitude.
Pitt has good bench strength. That's great.
However, the arms are going to feel very heavy much more quickly. The pace of the game and the use of subs -- while making those foul shots -- is going to be huge.
Oral Roberts has played at altitude many more times than Pitt.
And, if the team (and it should) advances to play Temple, the breakneck speed of the game is going to take a serious toll on the team.
They need to run like crazy -- then step to the line and swish those foul shots. Then run crazy again and NOT foul. Run into positions, away from the ball, preventing the back-door dunks/lay-ups.
Running in Denver isn't like running in NYC. Well, to be honest, the running is the same, but the recovery and the thinking while running isn't.
I'd worry more about the recovery after the first round victory and the second round game.
If Pitt makes its shots and stays out of foul trouble -- it can just crush Oral Roberts. Play subs freely. Stay fresh. Rotate in and out and get into the game in two heart beats.
Hail to Pitt!