Intramural league opens Final Four at the Pete

By Isaac Saul

Tomorrow night, a group of Pitt students will experience a basketball game inside the Petersen… Tomorrow night, a group of Pitt students will experience a basketball game inside the Petersen Events Center, but this time they’ll be on the floor instead of in the stands.

Pitt intramural basketball  will tip off its Final Four by welcoming the last teams standing from the 64-team playoff to the Petersen Events Center.

Beginning at t 7:30 p.m., the four teams will face off in two 10-minute halves to decide the championship game on Thursday.

In one matchup, the C.S.B. — whose abbreviation the team wishes to keep private — will take on the Chris Mullins, which features players from the dental school.

Langston Wimberly — a senior at Pitt and the captain of C.S.B. — said that earning the chance to play on the Petersen Events Center floor fulfills some early season goals.

“That’s been the main goal since day one,” Wimberly said yesterday. “That and to actually get a rematch with the dental school.”

The dental school team — which eliminated Wimberly and C.S.B. in the Elite Eight last year — went on to win the league championship. Wimberly carried the loss with him all season.

“They beat us to prevent us from going to the Final Four on a very controversial game-winning shot,” Wimberly said.

The shot that would have won the game for C.S.B. was waved off five minutes after the final buzzer.

One big headline for Wimberly’s team this season was the addition of former Pitt basketball player Austin Wallace.

“He is just a great addition to the squad,” Wimberly said. “Nobody can really match his size, rebounding or defense. He sets the tone on D [defense] and we run our offense through him when we can.”

Other than Wallace, C.S.B. has another go-to guy for when it’s desperate for points — Mario Reeves. Unlike Wallace, Reeves gained his reputation away from the Pete.

“People call him a legend up at Trees. He’s instant offense,” Wimberly said.

Wimberly is already strategizing for what he knows will be a tough matchup against the dental school.

“We need to rebound, and we need get out to their shooters,” Wimberly said. “They can shoot from anywhere on the floor.”

In the other semifinal, the Barbara Streisands will be taking on the Vegetables. Similar to C.S.B., the Barbara Streisands were eliminated by the dental school last year, by losing to it in the final round.

Pitt junior Vince Williams, who plays for the Streisands, thinks some of the team’s goals have already been accomplished.

“The main goal for our team was to play in the Pete, to at least get to the Final Four,” Williams said. “But we want to win a championship.”

For the players on the Streisands, playing in the Petersen Events Center will be a landmark in itself. Junior Kirk Jones — Williams’ teammate — said the team is excited for the opportunity to play in the building.

Williams agreed.

“I don’t think anyone on our team has played on the Pete floor yet,” Williams said.

Williams also said the team’s balance drives them forward, and that it’s hoping its ability to make adjustments can take it all the way.

“We work together so well as a team, it’s really just whoever has the open shot shoots,” Williams said. “If someone is messing up, nobody has a problem with taking criticism. We’re really good at making changes in the game.”

The members of the Streisands have a lot of experience in their starting five, which features a complete lineup of players who played varsity-level basketball in high school. Over the course of its 9-0 season, Williams said the team felt its confidence growing.

“We feel that we have a really good shot to win it,” Williams said. “We’ve been through many tests so far, and we’ve played some tough teams.”