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Heller Brothers Exhibit the Significance of Household and the Switch Portal for Pitt Wrestling



Siblings enjoying sports activities collectively offers nice alternatives for household bonding to create unimaginable moments that final a lifetime. For Pitt, redshirt junior Reece Heller and redshirt senior Holden Heller are brothers which are competing at an extremely excessive stage this season, drawing nationwide recognition.

The duo is presently two of one of the best wrestlers on an excellent Pitt workforce in 2022-23 after arriving from Hofstra within the offseason. Reece Heller is 15-3 general, gained the Midlands Championships on the finish of December, is 6-2 in twin matches on the season and Intermat ranks him at No. 19 within the nation as a wrestler at 184 kilos. Holden Heller is 9-4 general and 7-2 in twin matches this season and Intermat ranks him at No. 23 within the nation at 165 kilos.

Pitt wrestling protection on Pittsburgh Sports activities Now could be sponsored by the Pittsburgh Wrestling Membership.

Pittsburgh Wrestling Club

Reece and Holden Heller are part of a wrestling household and began younger, together with their brother Sage Heller. Their father, who fought as a martial artist in his 20s, taught his youngsters Judo to be taught throws and different methods very important for any sort of combating. They quickly transitioned to wrestling beneath his tutelage and grew to like the game and the competitors it introduced.

All three brothers wrestled for Hofstra, with Sage Heller competing from 2016-22, Holden Heller wrestling from 2018-22 and Reece Heller competing from 2019-22.

The brothers made their marks at Hofstra, with Holden Heller incomes a spot on the NCAA Championships in 2022 after profitable the EIWA Convention Title. Reece Heller had his finest season in 2019-20, beginning at 149 kilos and posted a 19-13 document. Reece Heller mentioned that whereas he discovered and grew lots as a wrestler at Hofstra, he didn’t like slicing kilos simply to begin and needed to search out someplace he may wrestle at a extra snug weight.

Holden Heller November 18, 2022 David Hague/PSN

The duo determined to switch after the 2021-22 season and most popular to go to the identical college and compete collectively. Reece Heller mentioned that inside 10 minutes of asserting their resolution to enter the switch portal, former Pitt assistant coach and present Brown head coach Jordan Leen obtained in touch with them.

“We talked to him on the telephone, and he got here right down to see us in Lengthy Island like two days later,” Reece Heller mentioned. “They had been on prime of it. That pursuit was actually cool for us. We thought to ourselves, “Man these guys actually need us, possibly that is the place we belong sort factor.”

The Heller brothers becoming a member of the Panthers made sense for each events. This system wanted prime wrestlers at 165 and 184 kilos, with NCAA qualifiers in Jake Wentzel, who’s presently an assistant coach at Pitt, and Gregg Harvey each graduating after the 2021-22 season. Reece Heller mentioned that whereas retaining his brother round and competing at a greater weight enticed him, this system as a complete is what satisfied him to grow to be a Panther.

“It was completely the proper place to land,” Reece Heller mentioned “I used to be searching for a greater match for my weight, but additionally only a higher wrestling atmosphere. The room right here and the coaches right here, it’s so good, it’s so wrestling oriented. Pittsburgh is such a wrestling place that all of it actually labored out.”

Reece and Holden Heller bunked as youngsters and presently stay collectively now. The significance of their relationship on and off the mat is one thing that they each mentioned makes them higher wrestlers and other people.

“We all know what one another wants,” Holden Heller mentioned. “On off days we’ll are available in and fiddle with one another and determine stuff out. I really feel like that’s a part of what makes it lots simpler for us is that we’re going by means of the identical stuff every single day.”

The Heller brothers have bonded and get together with all of their teammates. They lean on the expertise from redshirt seniors in Micky Phillippi, Cole Matthews and Nino Bonaccorsi, and likewise work with the youthful guys like first-year Dayton Pitzer and Jared Keslar.

The competitors from wrestling nice teammates has made the Heller brothers a lot better over the course of their time at Pitt. In addition they profit from head coach Keith Gavin and assistant coach Drew Headlee difficult them every single day as nicely.

“I’ve undoubtedly grown within the sense of how I view the game,” Holden Heller mentioned since coming to Pitt. “I by no means actually seen it in the way in which that I recognize it and I find it irresistible and I’ve it enjoyable doing it now. It’s form of how I’ve grown essentially the most since being right here is simply my appreciation for the game and having fun with it reasonably than viewing it as onerous labor.” 

Reece Heller November 18, 2022 David Hague/PSN

The Heller brothers each recognize the rise in competitors they’ve confronted wrestling for Pitt as nicely. The step up from EIWA to ACC forces them to work tougher to take down far harder opponents on a constant foundation. They mentioned that they will rebound after a troublesome loss as a result of they’ve many alternatives to succeed all through this season, permitting them to remain motivated always.

Reece and Holden Heller additionally each mentioned that scrambling is a big a part of their success, one thing that Gavin additionally sees a giant a part of their strengths as wrestlers.

“They’re enjoyable to educate as a result of they wrestle by means of positions on a regular basis,” Gavin mentioned. “There’s no place the place they’re attempting to only stalemate or get a restart. They’re attempting to attain. Whether or not the man will get their leg or they get the man’s leg. It doesn’t matter what occurs, they’re seeking to rating. It’s enjoyable to educate and I believe that’s the explanation that they’ve been growing and getting higher.” 

Gavin additionally mentioned that the switch portal is a giant plus for his program in quite a lot of methods. It permits him and his employees to deliver again prime wrestlers from western Pennsylvania who went to varsity elsewhere to come back again. An ideal instance of that is senior Dazjon Casto who wrestles at 157 kilos for Pitt, who beforehand wrestled at The Citadel and at Erie Cathedral Prep in highschool. With Pitt being in a metropolis and never a small city, Gavin mentioned it additionally offers this system an edge over others relating to graduate transfers as nicely.

The Heller brothers have an excellent relationship with Gavin and credit score him partially for making them fall in love with the game once more.

“I’ve a very nice relationship with Keith,” Holden Heller mentioned. “Keith is a brilliant distinctive coach. I haven’t had a coach like him the place he’s so reassuring and motivating and will get you to understand the game extra. Clearly, the sports activities actually robust and he’s who I look to provide me reassurance and get me feeling excited once more. He’s undoubtedly a supply of vitality too.” 

Pitt takes on two robust opponents this upcoming weekend. North Carolina involves the Petersen Occasions Heart on Friday, Feb. 3 to determine who takes prime spot within the ACC and No. 3 Iowa State arrives at Fitzgerald Subject Home on Saturday, Feb. 4 to find out how nice of a squad Pitt actually is that this season.

Each of the Heller brothers face nice wrestlers on every squad. Reece Heller takes on UNC No. 13 sophomore Gavin Kane and Iowa State No. 4 senior Marcus Coleman, whereas Holden Heller takes on UNC redshirt senior Joey Mazzara and Iowa State No. 5 junior Yonger Batisda. 

Holden and Reece Heller proved final week in opposition to then ranked No. 7 Virginia Tech how prepared they’re to tackle one of the best within the nation. Holden Heller gained a 2-0 resolution over then ranked No. 25 redshirt sophomore Connor Brady and Reece Heller pinned then ranked No. 7 first-year Hunter Bolen at 4:32 within the second interval to primarily seal the victory for Pitt and likewise earn NCAA and ACC Wrestler of the week honors.

“These are the duels, once I knew I used to be coming right here, these are the duels that I envisioned myself wrestling in,” Holden Heller mentioned. “Virginia Tech and NC State and UNC. These are the duels that I’m most excited for. Simply because they’re prime tier groups. They’re groups that I grew up watching. I wish to exit and I wish to kick their buts.” 


Historical past of First 4 Winners Bodes Effectively for Pitt



PITTSBURGH – The NCAA Event has grown exponentially since its inception in 1939. Initially an eight-team event, the sector expanded to 16 groups in 1951, doubled in 1975 to 32, then doubled once more 10 years later (1985) to the Subject of 64. 

The First 4 formally started in 2011 and has sometimes included No. 11 and No. 16 seeds, enjoying for an opportunity to maneuver out of the Subject of 68 play-in recreation and into the official bracket. Within the 11 years of First 4 play – excluding 2020, the yr with no event – a number of groups have handed by Dayton, Ohio to make a run within the event discipline. 

Pitt basketball obtained a No. 11 seed within the 2023 NCAA Event, incomes its first dance in March Insanity since 2015-16 beneath Jamie Dixon. The Panthers will play Mississippi State in Dayton, Ohio within the First 4 and in the event that they win, they may play No. 6 Iowa State Friday again in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Two No. 11 seeds have superior from the First 4 to the Last 4. In 2010-11, the inaugural yr of the First 4, VCU (23-11) defeated USC within the play-in recreation and went on to defeat No. 6 Georgetown (74-56), No. 3 Purdue (94-76), No. 10 Florida State (72-71 OT), and No. 1 Kansas (71-61) earlier than falling to No. 8 Butler (70-62) within the Last 4. 

Two years in the past, UCLA superior to the Last 4 in one of the crucial memorable event runs and Last 4 video games in current reminiscence. The Bruins (17-9) overcame a five-point deficit within the closing 89 seconds to down Michigan State and transfer on and face No. 6 BYU. UCLA defeated BYU (73-62), No. 14 Abilene Christian (67-47), No. 2 Alabama (88-78 OT), and No. 1 Michigan (51-49) earlier than falling to No. 1 Gonzaga (93-90) in additional time on a Jalen Suggs triple on the buzzer. 

Final season, Notre Dame (22-10) survived the bubble and took down Rutgers 89-87 in double additional time. The Preventing Irish received its first-round recreation towards Alabama (78-64) earlier than falling to Texas Tech of their subsequent matchup.

Total, a First 4 workforce that received its play-in recreation and in addition received at the very least one other tourney within the Subject of 64 each season besides 2018-19: 2010-11 (VCU), 2011-12 (South Florida), 2012-13 (La Salle), 2013-14 (Tennessee), 2014-15 (Dayton), 2015-16 (Wichita State), 2016-17 (USC), 2017-18 (Syracuse), 2020-21 (UCLA), 2021-22 (Notre Dame).

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The Frank Walker Legislation/PSN Every day Pocket book- March 12



  Replace (11:23 AM)- BRACKET BREAKDOWN. – Which 68 groups are in?– Prime 16 seeds– First 4 Out — Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 12, 2023 Replace (11:15 AM)- March Insanity bracket predictions 2023: Remaining NCAA Event Area of 68 projections for Choice Sunday — Invoice Bender (@BillBender92) March 12, 2023

The publish The Frank Walker Legislation/PSN Every day Pocket book- March 12 appeared first on Pittsburgh Sports activities Now.

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By The Numbers: Taking a look at Pitt’s NCAA Match Probabilities Based mostly on Current NET Historical past



Choice Sunday has arrived, and Pitt followers throughout the nation are eagerly ready to seek out out if their beloved Panthers have certified for this yr’s NCAA Match.

The Panthers haven’t made the match because the 2015-16 season and have put collectively a 22-11 season.

The Panthers went 14-3 at house, 7-5 on the street, and 1-3 on impartial courts. Pitt went 4-4 in Quad One video games, 3-5 in Quad Two video games, 5-1 in Quad 3 video games, and 10-1 in Quad 4 video games. The Panthers at present rank No. 67 within the NCAA’s NET rankings.

Listed below are some statistical classes that Pitt falls into together with current NCAA Match historical past.

Gained 41% to 60% of its Quad One video games X Gained 61% to 80% of its Convention video games.

Pitt received 50% of its Quad One video games this season and received 70% (14 of 20) of its convention video games.

27 of 35 groups that fell into this bucket previously two years made the NCAA Match (77.14%).

Nevertheless, 100% (19 of 19) energy convention groups that fell into this class made the match.

One of many current ACC groups to fall into this bucket was the 2021-22 Miami squad, which completed 23-10 (15-7 ACC) and was awarded a No. 10 seed within the match.

Gained 41% to 60% of its Quad One video games X Had one Quad 4 loss.

Pitt received 50% of its Quad One video games and misplaced a Quad 4 recreation. These two are definitely a uncommon mixture, as solely six groups previously two years have fallen into this bucket.

Simply 1 out of the six groups (16.67%) that completed in these classes previously two years made the NCAA Match. That was Rutgers within the 2021-22 match, which completed 18-13 (12-9 in Large Ten). Nevertheless, Rutgers was the solely energy convention program to fall into this class, and the Scarlet Knights made the match. The opposite groups that fell into the bucket had been: George Mason, SMU, South Dakota St., Tulsa, and Wofford.

Gained 61% to 80% of its non-Convention video games X Gained 61% to 80% of its total video games.

Pitt received 22 of its 33 video games this season (66.67%). Pitt went 8-5 in non-conference play this season (61.5%).

37 of the 83 groups that fell into this bucket previously two years made the NCAA Match (44.58%). Nevertheless, 16 of 17 power-conference applications (94.12%) that fell into this class made the match.

The one group that didn’t make the match with these metrics was ’21-’22 Colorado: 21-11, 13-9 PAC 12).

Gained 41% to 60% of its Street Video games X Gained 22 whole video games.

Pitt received 7 of its 12 (58.3%) street video games this season and completed with 22 wins.

Out of the 4 energy convention applications to fall into this bucket previously two years, three of the 4 (75%) of the groups made the NCAA Match:

’20-’21 Arkansas: 22-6, 14-5 SEC: No. 3 seed.

’20-’21 Colorado: 22-8, 16-7 PAC 12: No. 5 seed.

’21-’22 Michigan State: 22-12, 13-10 Large Ten: No. 7 seed.

’21-’22 Texas A&M: 22-12, 12-10 SEC: No. 1 seed within the NIT. Superior to the NIT finals.

The 2022-23 NCAA Match Choice present will tip off on CBS at 6 p.m. est.

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