Pitt coach Jamie Dixon(below) is doing a fabulous job. Despite losing his three best players from last year's Elite Eight squad, the Panthers are 12--2, including an 82--72 upset of then No. 5 Syracuse last Saturday at the Carrier Dome.... Gonzaga is a lot tougher than in previous years. Last Saturday the Bulldogs gutted out an overtime road win against Illinois—less than 48 hours after beating Oklahoma at home.... Michigan State coach Tom Izzo caused a stir when he banished point guard Kalin Lucas from a practice and brought him off the bench for one game. But Lucas's problem is a lack of vocal assertiveness, not a bad attitude. He responded with 21 points and four assists in the Spartans' rout of Northwestern.
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (DIXON)