On Sunday, Pitt suffered a defeat at the hands of the Florida State Seminoles. This is their third loss in a row and fifth loss out of their last seven games, as they spiral downward.
Many fans and analysts have raised questions about whether or not this Pitt team is going to be selected to the NCAA tournament. After starting the season 15-1, the Panthers now sit at 20-7 and have struggled mightily since the loss to Duke on January 27. In their only two wins since, both required overtime in order for Pitt to secure a victory.
It has been exactly one month since the last time the Panthers were able to win in regulation.
The Panthers went from being a top-20 team, to being in serio
us danger of not making the tournament altogether. ESPN Analyst Joe Lunardi has Pitt seeded as a 10 seed in his most recent bracketology. In addition, Pitt is now officially a bubble team, and in immediate danger of having that bubble burst.
With no signature wins, and a few bad losses, Pitt needs to win their l
ast four games of the season to secure an invite to the tournament. Quite frankly, if Pitt loses another game this season, they probably do not deserve a bid to the tournament.
Boston College, Pitt’s next opponent is 7-20 and an ACC bottom feeder. Boston College has had a dreadful season, and with the exception of an upset over Syracuse, has had an historically bad year this season.
Following the game with Boston College, Pitt heads to South Bend, IN to face Notre Dame. Notre Dame, much like Pitt, started off the season strong, but has fallen to 14-14 and 5-10 in the ACC.
If Pitt loses to Notre Dame, I would not be surprised since Notre Dame has b
een a particularly tough road matchup for Pitt basketball in the past. That being said, a loss to either Boston College or Notre Dame would most likely cripple the Panther’s tournament chances significantly.
Their final two games are against teams in the upper half of the ACC standings. North Carolina State, at 17-10 may prove to be a challenging matchup for the Panthers. However, the Panthers were able to beat them handedly at 74-62 on January 4.
Pitt ends their season against Clemson. The Tigers sit in sixth place in the ACC and 17-9 overall. They are in contention for a spot in the tournament and cannot afford a loss to Pitt. That being said, Pitt had no trouble disposing of them at home 76-43 on January 21.
This Pitt basketball team cannot afford to lose these games if they want to ma
ke the tournament. At 8-6 in the ACC, the chances at earning a top four seed and first round bye in the ACC tournament are looking increasingly slim.
At this point, Pitt needs to regain their focus and go at least 3-1 in their final four games if they aspire to be in the NCAA tournament. Anything worse than 3-1, and the Panthers’ chances will be in severe jeopardy.