VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis met Friday with the head of FIFA and members of the Italian and Argentine national rugby teams. Justin Layne Steelers Jersey . Francis told the rugby players in town for a match on Saturday that theirs was a "tough" sport but one without violence, where individual and team greatness complement one another. Francis also met Friday with FIFA chief Joseph Blatter. "We spoke the same language and it was language of football," Blatter said. "It was really a meeting between two sportsmen and two football fans." Blatter said he responded to the popes request for FIFA to help the favelas, or slums, of Rio de Janeiro during the 2014 World Cup, with a promise to "do what we can." "We cannot do everything," Blatter said. The soccer-mad Francis, a longtime member of his beloved San Lorenzo club in Buenos Aires, has amassed an impressive collection of soccer jerseys as gifts from visiting teams and players. The two also unwittingly wound up confronting the relative strength in the numbers of active participants in their institutions, with those involved in football, including players and their families, slightly outnumbering Roman Catholics worldwide. "We have 1.2 billion people and (the pope) said, I have no more than 1 billion," Blatter said with a laugh. Kevin Greene Jersey . And all things considered, the first 40 games have offered a little bit of everything from a hockey club that faced many questions in its first year under new management, with a new head coach and with a number of new faces in the lineup. However, with a recent dip in scoring, it seems some of the same old questions persist and several new ones have been raised after a somewhat troubling homestand. Carnell Lake Jersey . Howard had 17 points and a career-high-tying 26 rebounds in his Houston debut, James Harden added 21 points and the Rockets cruised to a 96-83 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night. http://www.steelerspronfl.com/Youth-JuJu-Smith-Schuster-Elite-Jersey/ .Y. -- As if the worst start in franchise history isnt bad enough, Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black braced his teams win-starved fans for potentially more tough times. GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Talib Zanna had 19 points and a career-high 21 rebounds to help Pittsburgh beat No. 15 North Carolina 80-75 in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament quarterfinals Friday. James Robinson also scored a career-best 19 points for the fifth-seeded Panthers (25-8), who used a dominating start to build a huge lead before having to hold off a late rally by the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (23-9). Pittsburgh led by 20 points with 7:22 left before UNCs frantic comeback behind Marcus Paige, who scored 20 of his 27 points after halftime before fouling out with 25.4 seconds left. UNC got it to 78-75 on Nate Britts jumper with 11.4 seconds left but couldnt complete the comeback. James Robinson knocked down two free throws to make it a two-possession game again right after Britts score, then Lamar Patterson rebounded a hurried 3-pointer by James Michael McAdoo with 4.3 seconds left to essentially seal it. Now, after a dominating performance in Thursdays second round and a bumbling-but-successful finish Friday, the Panthers will face sixth-ranked and top-seeded Virginia in Saturdays semifinals. Zanna, a 6-foot-9 fifth-year senior, came within two rebounds of tying the single-game tournament rebounding record that had stood since 1959. He fouled out with 1:03 left. Zanna had 10 offensive rebounds -- one shy of UNCs team total -- and helped Pitt control the boards while taking a 21-6 edge in second-chance points against a team that was third in the league in rebounnding margin for the regular season. Justin Layne Youth Jersey. With all those point-blank extra looks off offensive rebounds, Pitt shot 52 per cent for the game. North Carolina spent all day trying to recover from a terrible start. It missed 16 of 19 shots and fell behind 25-8, though its late comeback at least gave them some hope of sticking around Greensboro a little longer. North Carolina shot 42 per cent, though much of that production came after Pitt had built a 61-41 lead on Josh Newkirks three-point play midway through the second half. The Panthers have won five of six to pull out of a three-game losing streak that started to threaten their NCAA tournament chances, with this ranking as probably their best of the year. Now the Tar Heels are suddenly struggling. The Tar Heels started 0-3 in the ACC and stood at 1-4 before running off 12 straight wins, including a home win against Pittsburgh, to earn a top-four seed and double-round bye that came with it. But UNC didnt play well in the final two games of the streak and lost at Duke to close the regular season last weekend, sending them into Greensboro coming off their first loss since Jan. 20. The rebounding trouble was particularly alarming for UNC considering it managed just 20 rebounds in last weekends loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium. During one demoralizing second-half stretch, Zanna tipped in offensive rebounds on consecutive possessions and had 17 rebounds to UNCs 16 with nearly 14 minutes still left. ' ' '