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Pitt will not get past the second-round of the NCAA Tournament this season. Not because the team was not talented enough. Not because Gilbert Brown, who was brilliant all night against eighth-seeded Butler, didn't make both foul shots at the end of the game.

And not because Nas Robinson committed a bad, late foul.

Pitt lost because their head coach was not up to the situation his team was faced with at the end of their game Saturday night in Washington, D.C.

I have been an unabashed advocate of Jamie Dixon for the past eight years.

How could you not be? Against all odds, the guy has built one of the nation's top basketball programs at Pitt. That is a fact that remains true, even after the Panthers heartbreaking—no, soul-crushing—loss to Butler this weekend.

But Dixon failed his team Saturday night. Not once, not twice, but at least three times.

Pitt called timeout with 13 seconds left on the shot clock on their next-to-last possession, with the ball in Ashton Gibbs' hands, about to run a play. After the timeout, they in-bounded the ball to Brad Wanamaker, who was immediately trapped. Pitt dished late to Gil Brown, who missed a shot. The time-out, which left the Panthers with only one more, resulted in absolutely nothing.

Then, in one of the most inexplicable moves of the NCAA Tournament thus far—but sadly, not Pitt's most inexplicable move—Dixon chose not to call timeout on the Panthers' last full possession, instead letting Gibbs dribble to under 10 seconds before starting the offensive set.

Gibbs is a fine player and a special scorer, but he's not Kemba Walker or Isaiah Thomas. Heck, he's not Carl Krauser. Or Travon Woodall. Why was he starting the set with mere seconds on the shot clock?

But more to the point, the entire Pitt team kept glancing to the bench, virtually begging to be coached. Instead, Dixon watched as his players ran the shot clock to zero without a shot.

Butler answered with what should have been the game-winning lay-up with just under 3 seconds on the clock.

But for once, the Basketball Gods were shining on Pitt. Butler's Shelvin Mack hammered Gil Brown out-of-bounds like he was a quarterback scrambling for extra yards, sending Brown to the free throw line with Pitt down by one point.

Three minutes went by while the officials set the game clock and Mack stood at the foul line, incessantly taunting Brown.

Brown sank the first shot, tying the game.

As Brown prepared for the second shot—potentially the game-winner—teammates Gary McGhee and Nas Robinson remained on the blocks, waiting to battle Butler for a rebound should Brown miss the free throw.

Why McGhee and Robinson were on the line for that second foul shot by Gil Brown with 1.4 seconds is a mystery.

If you want to haul in the basketball law books and show me some sort of case law for this sort of thing, fine. OK. Keep them on the blocks. But in those three minutes of down time before Brown's shots, why was no one told not to foul while battling for the rebound? Heck, why were they even battling for a rebound to begin with? McGhee and Robinson should have been told to ease up on the glass and simply defend the dribble.

The reason is simple. Painful, but simple.

The head coach was not up the situation.

So what now?

Well, there is no real "what now."

Now, we just sit back and see what happens. We know this much, though: Pitt has a coach who consistently wins 25 games a year. And we know he has tons of talent set to join the program over these next two seasons. The kind of talent that should enable the Panthers to make serious runs (serious as in deep and runs as in plural) at a national title.

We know that the teams Pitt will put on the floor these next few years have a chance to be very special. Much better, even, than this year's top-seeded team. And certainly too good to bow out in the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

Jamie Dixon has built something absolutely fantastic at Pitt – but its well-past time to cash in. And it sure would be nice if Dixon was still the coach when those benefits are realized.

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