NCAA Bracket Preview, Predictions: No. 1 Pittsburgh Vs. No. 16 UNC-Asheville

It took overtime, but UNC-Asheville polished off Arkansas-Little Rock in the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket's brand new First Four round to earn the right to be slaughtered by Pitt in the round of 64. UNC-Asheville had the honor of winning an NCAA Tournament game in Dayton on Tuesday night before begin shuttled off to Washington D.C. for a quick turnaround and a date with No. 1 seed Pitt. On Thursday at 3:10 p.m., the Panthers and Bulldogs battle it out for a trip to the round of 32 in the Southeast region.

The Panthers enter the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed despite falling victim to Kemba Walker in the Big East Tournament. Walker's buzzer-beater kept the UConn Huskies alive in the tournament while allowing Pitt to head home and get some rest after going one-and-done in the tournament. Despite the less than impressive performance in the tournament, Pitt's body of work, specifically the Big East regular season championship, was enough to impress the committee and earn a No. 1 seed.

Star Watch: From a possessions used standpoint, it's Brad Wanamaker for the Panthers. Wanamaker uses 24.2 percent of Pitt's possessions when he's on the floor with an offensive efficiency of 114. But the star of the show for the Panthers is Ashton Gibbs and his 126.8 offensive efficiency. He uses 21.3 percent of the Panthers' possessions and is one of the most efficient scorers in the country.

It's a two-man show for UNC-Asheville, as we saw in the the Bulldogs' First Four game against Arkansas-Little Rock. J.P. Primm uses the most possessions with Matt Dickey close behind. Both score at about the same efficiency and both scored 22 points in UNC-Asheville's opener.

Prediction: Pitt takes this one easily, 80-65.

More Reading: For more on Pitt, head on over to Cardiac Hill. For more on the Bulldogs, check out our UNC-Asheville NCAA Tournament primer.

Need help picking your bracket? Check out SB Nation's full 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, picking every game of March Madness, or our region by region breakdowns for the East Region, West Region, Southeast Region, and Southwest Region.

Did your team miss the 2011 NCAA Tournament? We have you covered: check out the 2011 NIT bracket.

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