Sports

Pitt's NCAA chances will rely heavily on long arms of center Talib Zanna

  • Pittsburgh's Talib Zanna (42) shoots past Virginia's Anthony Gill (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, March 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

    Pittsburgh's Talib Zanna (42) shoots past Virginia's Anthony Gill (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, March 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pittsburgh forward Talib Zanna (42) dunks the ball over North Carolina forward Brice Johnson (11) during Pittsburgh's 80 to 75 win in the third round of the 61st annual Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball on Friday, March 14, 2014, at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC. (AP Photo/Burlington Times-News, Scott Muthersbaugh)

    Pittsburgh forward Talib Zanna (42) dunks the ball over North Carolina forward Brice Johnson (11) during Pittsburgh's 80 to 75 win in the third round of the 61st annual Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball on Friday, March 14, 2014, at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC. (AP Photo/Burlington Times-News, Scott Muthersbaugh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pittsburgh's Talib Zanna (42) shoots over North Carolina's Desmond Hubert (14) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

    Pittsburgh's Talib Zanna (42) shoots over North Carolina's Desmond Hubert (14) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)  (The Associated Press)

Pittsburgh's chances of ending its NCAA tournament disappointments will depend largely on the long arms and quick feet of center Talib Zanna.

It's a position the senior from Kaduna, Nigeria is finally comfortable with after years of struggling to play with confidence or consistency.

Zanna was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference tournament first team after averaging 17 points and 13 rebounds during the Panthers' three-game run to the semifinals.

It was the kind of head-turning performance that will certainly make eighth-seeded Colorado (23-11) take notice when they face the ninth-seeded Panthers (25-9) in the second round on Thursday.

Pitt senior forward Lamar Patterson says when Zanna is clicking, the Panthers get on a roll.