Take 5 | March Madness and GOAT debates on the horizon


Ethan Shulman | Staff Photographer

The Pitt Women’s basketball team listens to senior Emy Hayford in the huddle.

By The Pitt News Staff

In this week’s Take 5, The Pitt News Sports Desk gives their takes on March Madness, NFL GOAT debates and more. 

Turnovers will cost Pitt men’s basketball in the NCAA tournament // Brian Sherry, Assistant Sports Editor

As March quickly approaches, teams across the country are looking ahead to their NCAA tournament chances. Pitt men’s basketball has all but secured a spot in the big dance, as they just eclipsed 20 wins for the first time since 2016. But the Panthers have one major flaw which will cost them in March — turnovers.

Pitt ranks No. 12 in the ACC in turnover margin, with a -0.21 margin. If there’s one thing that costs teams in the postseason, it’s turnovers. The Panthers need to improve their turnover margin if they want to have any success come tournament time. 

It’s still too early to include Patrick Mahomes in GOAT conversations // Ben Pisano, Staff Writer

Earlier this month, the Kansas City Chiefs won their second Super Bowl with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. Mahomes has already accomplished a lot in five years as a starter — two NFL MVPs, two First-team All-Pros and two Lombardi Trophies. The ink wasn’t even dry on Tom Brady’s retirement paperwork before the ever-reactionary sports media erupted with chatter about how Mahomes is on pace to surpass Brady as the Greatest of All Time. 

No doubt, Mahomes has already made a strong case for the best start to a career in NFL history. However, Tom Brady is an anomaly — he has more Super Bowl titles than any franchise in the NFL and holds nearly every significant all-time career record relevant to the quarterback position. Mahomes still has a long way to go before he dethrones Tom Brady as the perennial GOAT.

Pitt Fans Should Stop Caring About Rankings // Zack Gibney, Senior Staff Writer

For the last few weeks, fans have engaged in a constant discourse surrounding the Pitt men’s basketball program and its respective ranking in — well — everything. NET, AP, KenPom, the list goes on. But a few days ago, I asked myself a question that eased my mind.

Who cares?

If Pitt can finish the season strong, then no ranking will matter.

“But what about seeding?”

Again, who cares?

If this team is truly as good as many fans claim, the difference between a 7 and an 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament shouldn’t mean anything. Given the fact that the tournament has no reseeding system following the first round, the strength of schedule throughout the bracket gives very little advantage to the higher seeds.

For the first time in nearly a decade, Pitt has an opportunity to play in extremely important games in mid-March. If they win the games they should, the Panthers will make their first tournament appearance since 2016.

It’s time to focus on that rather than defining the team with a number.

It’s the perfect time of year to become a motorsports fan // David Scott, Staff Writer

This not-quite-winter yet not-quite-spring season is among the slowest times for sports all year. Football just ended, baseball hasn’t started, and the NBA and NHL are right around their All-Star games — which are very boring. The only really exciting thing that is happening is college basketball — or is it?

Anyone who isn’t a huge fan of sports that are fueled by gasoline might not know that both NASCAR and Formula 1 are ramping up their seasons right now. The Daytona 500 just ran last weekend, and Bahrain testing is underway for F1. 

NASCAR has all the excitement you could ask for in a sport. High speed, lots of tension, and of course, big crashes. Who wouldn’t want to see a guy flipping upside down at 200 mph? For a more thrilling and gut-wrenching watch, F1 is 60-80 laps of action leaving viewers wondering who strategized right to take home the checkered flag.

Can’t decide between the two? Their schedules usually don’t clash and anyone can spend the morning watching F1 and then switch the channel right over to the NASCAR race.

Professional athletes should be held responsible for their actions of domestic violence // Sara Meyer, Staff Writer

In sports that follow the World Anti-Doping Code, athletes found using performance-enhancing drugs are banned from competition for two years, while second offenses can cause a ban for life. These stringent punishments are justified, but the same strict repercussions are not implemented for athletes found guilty of domestic violence.

Professional athletes convicted of domestic violence often get just a slap on the wrist. Sometimes, the punishment for domestic violence is less severe than the punishment for using steroids. 

In 2014, Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice was charged with domestic violence after video evidence surfaced of him abusing his ex-fiance. He was only suspended for two games, which is shorter than any drug suspension. Incidents like this are seen far too often in professional sports.

Even when athletes are punished, the punishment is oftentimes shortened on accounts of “good behavior” or they are easily granted a second chance. The way professional organizations fail to respond to domestic violence accusations has gone on for too long. Professional athletes should be held responsible for their acts of domestic violence by the organizations that represent them.