No. 13 Marquette Golden Eagles at No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers

NCAA Betting Preview
No. 13 Marquette Golden Eagles (23-6) at No. 3 Pittsburgh Panthers (26-3)
Wednesday, 7:30 PM Eastern betting line – Pittsburgh – 11

The Big East seems to have big game after another and that will be the case again this Wednesday night when no. 3 Pittsburgh host no. 13 Marquette in a battle of conference front runners. The Pittsburgh Panthers are staring at a brutal two game stretch to close out the season. The Panthers not only have to contend with the talented Golden Eagles this Wednesday, but they will turn around and square off with top ranked Connecticut this Saturday. The Golden Eagles have suffered from a brutal two game stretch as they have dropped two straight losses for the first time this season. However, Marquette has come up strong in big games on multiple occasions this season and they will seek a big victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

The Marquette Golden Eagles rank 2nd in the Big East in terms of scoring offense averaging slightly less than 80 points per game this season. However, Marquette’s fast pace offense has also given up some high point totals this season as well. The Golden Eagles will have to hold off a dangerous scoring offense from Pittsburgh this Wednesday night in a tough road game. The Golden Eagles stellar point’s guards have led the team this season. Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews are both averaging right at 20 points per game this season. However, Lazar Hayward had the biggest night for the Golden Eagles in their close loss to Louisville. Hayward posted a double-double night with 16 points and 10 boards. In that loss, Marquette was held to one of their poorest shooting performances of the season where they only managed to fill the cylinder on 33% of their shots. The Golden Eagles will seek a better all around performance in their quest to upset the number 3 team in the land on Wednesday.

The Pittsburgh Panthers have an opportunity to really close out the season strong if they could put together back to back big conference victories. Pittsburgh Panthers leading scorer Sam Young had one of the strongest showings of the season for Pittsburgh in their victory over Seton Hall this Saturday. The senior forward knocked down 29 points in the Panthers 89-78 win over Seton Hall. DeJuan Blair has been a big asset for the Panthers this season. The sophomore’s emergence has been a contributing factor to the Panthers success this season. Blair’s 12.7 rebounds this season ranks 3rd in the NCAA. Pittsburgh offense has been lights out from the floor this season knocking down right at 49% of their shots as a team. Despite the Panthers high scoring offense, they have held opponents to a low 63 points per game this season. Pittsburgh’s defense rather than their offense will get a big challenge to slow down a talented Marquette basketball team.

What to watch for…

Pittsburgh and Marquette split their two games last season with the Panthers getting the biggest win in the conference tournament. The losing team in both scenarios’s shot only 36% in those games. This year both teams shoot the ball very well and it will likely come down to who is hot and who is not. Pittsburgh has the edge on the inside while Marquette holds the advantage from the perimeter. However, Blair’s presence on the inside could be the difference as he could open the entire floor up for Pittsburgh if he can become effective.

Pick – Panthers may pull out the win, but not by 11. Take Marquette +11

Burned condo site released to developer, as investigation into blaze continues.

North County Times (Escondido, CA) January 25, 2007 Byline: Jo Moreland Jan. 25–ESCONDIDO — The burned-out site of the huge condominium project that erupted in flames a week ago in Escondido was turned over Wednesday to the developer as the investigation into the fire’s cause continues, officials said.

The largest structure fire in the city’s history quickly spread through The Paramount, a $6.6 million condo project between Centre City Parkway and Escondido Boulevard.

Four of five big buildings in place for the 122-unit project went up in billowing black smoke, leaving ashes and a little charred framework.

Authorities said Wednesday that the on-scene investigation into the cause and starting location of the fire has been completed, and the effort will now focus on more interviews and background. go to web site escondido humane society

“No information will be released regarding the cause of the fire at this time, pending further investigation by local ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) agents, the Escondido Fire Department and the Escondido Police Department,” officials said in a news release.

Investigators and agency personnel met Wednesday morning at City Hall for about an hour to discuss the investigation. Then they held a second meeting with at least one representative of developer D.R. Horton Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas, to plan for debris removal and turnover of the site.

Carol Rea, spokeswoman for the Escondido Fire Department, said Horton will clear the burned area soon, so the blackened debris that has become something of a minor tourist attraction doesn’t become a lingering eyesore.

“It’s likely to be gone within a couple of weeks,” Rea said.

Although city officials have said Horton is interested in rebuilding, the company has not said publicly what it intends to do. The Paramount is an important part of the city’s downtown revitalization program.

“We have no comment,” a woman said Wednesday at company headquarters before forwarding the call to someone who didn’t return it.

The blue and white temporary headquarters that 25 to 30 ATF agents used while sifting through the rubble to determine the cause and location of the fire’s origin is now gone, replaced by residents and others getting up-close looks at the piles of ashes. in our site escondido humane society

“I’m in shock,” said Mary Walker, an Escondido resident since 1959, who was taking pictures for her daughter Wednesday.

Audrey Daigle, owner of Bistro 221 in downtown Escondido, looked quietly at the blackened site for several minutes.

“I think it’s just devastating,” Daigle said. “It was certainly going to bring a lot more vitality downtown.” Rea said the investigation is continuing as local officers and agents exhaust all possibilities. There is no time set to complete the investigation, she said.

“It’s when we get the answers,” said Rea.

The spokeswoman said investigators are still ruling some things out as far as the cause of the fire, but declined to give details.

“You start with considering everything, and then you start ruling things out,” Rea explained.

Responding to questions, she said there is always a possibility that the cause of the fire might go unsolved.

“Fires are called undetermined” at times, she said. “However, we expect to have an answer.” Shortly after the blaze, authorities weren’t sure how many workers were at the site when black smoke started roiling from the partially constructed buildings.

“All the workers have been accounted for, roughly a couple dozen,” said Rea.

City officials are still compiling the firefighting costs, which will include overtime for off-duty firefighters called in to help crews from around the region fight the flames. There was about $5,000 damage to at least one Escondido firetruck.

A section of an Escondido Boulevard that was next to the fire melted and is still shut down. Rea said the city plans to repair the street Friday.

Out of all the ashes and uncertainty, a cat who survived the fire site appears to be recovering at the Escondido Humane Society.

Hot Stuff, as he has been dubbed, was discovered Friday while piles of debris still burned and smoldered. The frightened, confused cat, his paw pads and other parts burned, had to be caught before he could be treated.

“He’s doing very well today,” said Jennifer Dolan, Humane Society spokeswoman. “It’s looking pretty good right now. He’s more open to having people touch him. It looks like some of the debris may have fallen on him.” If Hot Stuff recovers from several surgeries, possible infections and other potential problems, she said, the cat — which finally purred a little Tuesday — might be available for adoption after about a month.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.

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