Jamarius Burton made a go-ahead jumper with 10 seconds left and Pitt edged Mississippi State 60-59 in a back-and-forth First Four sport Tuesday evening that featured 21 lead adjustments — most within the NCAA Tournament in 5 years.
Mississippi State had a fantastic likelihood to win on the finish, however Shakeel Moore missed a wide-open 3-pointer from the nook with two seconds remaining off an inbounds play. D.J. Jeffries’ tip-in try was off track simply earlier than the buzzer.
Nelly Cummings led Pitt with 15 factors. Greg Elliott scored 13 and Blake Hinson added 12 because the Panthers (23-11) received an NCAA Tournament sport for the primary time since 2014.
They slotted into the Midwest Region bracket because the eleventh seed and superior to face No. 6 seed Iowa State on Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina.
“We confirmed toughness, resiliency,” Pitt coach Jeff Capel stated. “We have been who we’ve been all 12 months, and it wasn’t fairly — but it surely was stunning.”
A layup by Tolu Smith gave Mississippi State a 59-58 benefit with 32 seconds left, however Pitt — after a three-minute scoring drought — grabbed the lead again on Burton’s brief jumper.
Guillermo Diaz Graham blocked Smith’s driving layup try out of bounds with 2.7 seconds left, establishing the ultimate sequence.
“I did a block — I don’t even know the way — with my left hand,” the exhausted 6-foot-11 freshman stated. “I normally don’t use my left hand. And I blocked it, and I knew it was an enormous play, so I simply let the vitality exit.”
Dashawn Davis had 15 factors for the Bulldogs (21-13), and Moore scored 13.
Burton, who spent almost seven minutes on the bench after choosing up his fourth foul, stated he knew his final shot was stepping into.
“When I had the ball in my fingers the final 30 seconds or so, I simply advised myself I used to be constructed for it,” stated Burton, who completed with six factors. “And I simply obtained to a spot and let it go, and I had full confidence in myself. That was just about every part that went down.”
The 3-pointers have been being launched straight away because the groups mixed for 13 within the first half.
Mississippi State, not a great exterior taking pictures workforce, hit 4 within the first 5 minutes however cooled off after that. The Panthers went 8 for 13 from past the arc within the opening interval.
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The groups hit only one every from lengthy vary within the second half.
“Every workforce goes to make changes at halftime, so I believe we needed to make the identical kind of changes and notice what kind of sport we have been in and take what the protection was giving us,” Cummings stated.
A GOOD LOOK
Mississippi State coach Chris Jans stated he could not quarrel with the alternatives his gamers made in the previous few seconds.
“It was a heck of a glance,” Jans stated of Moore’s missed 3. “Fortunately we obtained it off fast sufficient the place we had at the least one faucet at it. I don’t suppose the second was in all probability in time, however at that time it’s all you possibly can ask for, an opportunity — the ball is within the air — to win an NCAA Tournament sport and nonetheless have sufficient time to get a putback.”
Mississippi State: Came out firing from lengthy vary, however within the second half returned to the within sport that obtained the Bulldogs this far. They scored 30 factors within the paint.
“When you outright rebound somebody 49-28, you normally anticipate to win,” Jans stated. “But you have to give Pitt a number of credit score, they clearly performed effectively sufficient to win. We struggled within the first half to protect them. We simply couldn’t comprise the three, and it was nonetheless a one-point sport.”
Pitt: Were higher from exterior and at last managed to open a lead in opposition to Mississippi State’s stable perimeter protection.
“The consideration to element we needed to have to take care of that all through the sport was one thing that we talked about as quickly as we came upon who we have been enjoying,” Cummings stated.
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