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5 Takeaways: Pitt Basketball is Again on the Nationwide Radar



PITTSBURGH — After beginning the season 1-3 in yr 5 of the Jeff Capel period, it appeared as if Pitt would as soon as once more have a tough season and be forgotten within the minds of nationwide basketball followers and analysts.

Nonetheless, on Tuesday night time, because the Panthers closed out their fifth-straight victory, the precise reverse now appears the case.

The Panthers are formally again on the nationwide basketball scene after their win over No. 11 Virginia prolonged their profitable streak to 5 and improved their ACC file to 4-0.

Pitt regarded to the standard main scorers for manufacturing on the offensive finish. Blake Hinson hit some enormous threes, en path to a team-high 16. Jamarius Burton added 15. As well as, Nike Sibande got here off the bench and scored a loud 16 factors to tie Hinson’s workforce lead.

Regardless of Virginia’s sturdy begin, the Panthers powered by the Cavaliers tight-knit protection and regained the momentum by an enormous 14-0 run minutes into the second half.

Pitt was already wanting good as of late. A ten-4 begin with a win over No. 25 North Carolina and two street ACC victories to begin the season was an incredible begin. However this win over No. 11 Virginia was simply that rather more significant. This one bought Pitt over the hump, and has nationwide analysts and followers from everywhere in the nation speaking about Pitt once more.

Pitt Storms Again to Defeat No. 11 Virginia for Fifth-Straight Win, 68-65

Sports activities Illustrated’s Pat Forde took discover, tweeting, “Pittsburgh is 4-0 within the ACC for the primary time in 9 seasons, rallying to beat North Carolina and Virginia again to again. Jeff Capel would possibly lastly have it rotated.”

“Faculty basketball is healthier when Pitt is nice,” stated Rob Dauster of The Subject of 68.

“Pittsburgh goes to be 4-0 within the ACC — with residence wins over Virginia and North Carolina and street wins at Syracuse and NC State. Unimaginable turnaround since a 1-3 begin for Jeff Capel and the Panthers,” stated ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.

“Time to rank @Pitt_MBB Panthers are actual deal,” March Insanity analyst Andy Katz tweeted. “Comply with up win over @UNC_Basketball by knocking off @UVAMensHoops Panthers are 4-0 within the ACC.”


Sibande’s 16-point efficiency was completely essential for Pitt.

His eight first-half factors appeared to all come at a time which Pitt actually wanted a bucket to remain within the sport. Whereas Virginia performs a gradual sport and isn’t going to blow out groups in league play, it felt as if the Cavaliers had been on the sting of blowing this sport open a number of occasions. However Sibande was proper there, creating on his personal, hitting threes, rising up for thunderous dunks, and igniting the Pitt crowd who was longing for a fifth-straight win.

“It felt wonderful, man,” Sibande stated about his dunk. “Been an extended street, and it felt wonderful to throw that down, for certain.”


Nelly Cummings was taking part in close to flawless ball from the purpose guard place down the stretch of Pitt’s win.

Cummings dropped a number of dimes, organising Federiko Federiko inside for quite a few straightforward inside seems to be to maintain Pitt within the lead with time winding down. He additionally threw maybe the cross of the sport on a drive,  slinging the ball along with his left hand throughout the court docket to a wide-open Blake Hinson, who transformed on the three ball and lit up the Pitt crowd.

Within the win, Cummings completed with six factors, eight assists, two steals, and 0 turnovers. He led a Pitt workforce that took care of the ball in addition to it may have, not turning the ball over as soon as within the second half.


Tuesday night time’s sport was an emotional one, because the Panthers frolicked honoring former Pitt soccer captain Damar Hamlin in addition to the three Virginia soccer gamers who had been killed in 2022.

The Panthers warmed up with “Pitt Stands with UVA” shirts, in addition to “Chasing Thousands and thousands” shirts to honor Hamlin. Pitt honored the three Virginia gamers — Lavel Davis, Devin Chandler, and D’Sean Perry — with a second of silence to begin the sport. Then, halfway by the primary half, Pitt honored Hamlin with a tribute on the videoboard, which struck the feelings of all in attendance.

Pitt head coach Jeff Capel additionally shared his prayers and feelings in direction of his former participant Willie Taylor (VCU), who was discovered lifeless on Jan. 1 on the age of 42.


Pitt’s subsequent sport comes on Saturday, Jan. 7 in opposition to Clemson, who’s presently 11-3 general and 3-0 within the ACC.

Together with Pitt and Miami, the Tigers are the one different undefeated workforce in convention play thus far. Though Pitt has received 10 of 11 and every of its final 5, the Panthers are staying centered forward of Saturday’s battle.

“I keep within the second. I’ve realized that over my profession. Simply to remain within the second. We’ll get pleasure from this tonight, we’ll be off tomorrow, we’ll get again collectively on Thursday and we are going to begin our preparation for the following sport. I’m grateful for the place we’re, primarily for a way this workforce has come collectively. It’s been actually cool to observe. To look at their perception in one another, to observe them be selfless with one another, and to observe them give to one another.”

That sport will tip off at 4 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN2.

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Habakkuk Baldonado Carries Torch for Pitt in Shrine Bowl



LAS VEGAS – With Carter Warren leaving Las Vegas early on Sunday, Habakkuk Baldonado ended up having to hold the torch for Pitt within the annual East-West Shrine Bowl sport itself.

On an evening that noticed solely area objectives get on the scoreboard, defensive gamers like Baldonado actually had their share of alternatives to make a play. And Baldonado took benefit of that as a lot as he probably may have.

He was credited with a deal with, a quarterback hurry and a deal with for a loss on Thursday night time. His efforts additionally helped result in the West workforce claiming the victory, a 12-3 low scoring end result with each groups failing to get into the tip zone.

Baldonado was even accountable for one of many extra memorable moments from the sport, stuffing Utah working again Tavion Thomas virtually instantly upon the handoff in the midst of the third quarter. He then added an evidence mark to the deal with along with his celebration.

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Watch: Mark Could Evaluates Pitt Draft Hopefuls, Talks State of Program



LAS VEGAS – Mike Asti was in a position to chat with School Soccer Corridor of Famer, Former NFL Guard and Present Analyst Mark Could on the East-West Shrine Bowl Media Day. Could talked about what the occasion means to him, supplied his analysis of the Pitt gamers seeking to get drafted and even gave his evaluation of the state of the Pitt soccer program at this time.

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Michalowski: Pitt’s Resume and Why the NET Would not Prefer it



On Wednesday night time, Jeff Capel’s Pitt Panthers picked up an enormous win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill, taking down the Tar Heels for the second time this season.

The Panthers at the moment stand at 16-7 (9-3 ACC) of their marketing campaign to make the NCAA Event for the primary time because the program made it in 2016. Regardless of Pitt’s powerful begin to the season at 1-3, the Panthers have constructed up a comparatively robust resumé since, stacking six highway wins and 4 Quad One wins.

After the win over North Carolina, Pitt followers have been outraged about one factor specifically: NET Rankings. The NCAA Evaluating Tool.

Regardless of profitable an ever-so-important Quad One sport, the Panthers rose simply two spots within the NET rankings on Thursday: from No. 61 to No. 59. A highway win over a then-top-40 staff ought to transfer them up extra than simply two spots, proper? Properly, the issue is, NET, a mathematically-driven system, doesn’t favor Pitt due to some different components.

“The NET contains extra elements than simply profitable proportion,” the NCAA states. “It takes into consideration sport outcomes, power of schedule, sport location, scoring margin, web offensive and defensive effectivity, and the standard of wins and losses.

Let’s dive in to these classes.

GAME RESULTS: Pitt is 16-7 on the 12 months, with a mixed 8-6 document in quadrants one and two.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: In keeping with, Pitt’s NET Power of Schedule is seventy fifth within the nation. Its NET out-of-conference power of schedule is way worse, at No. 226 within the nation.

When stacking Pitt’s schedule up towards NET rankings, Pitt’s opponents’ personal a median NET rating of No. 145. That’s tied for 87th within the nation.

GAME LOCATION: Pitt owns a 10-3 document at house, an 0-2 document on impartial courts, and a 6-2 document on the highway. Pitt’s away document in ACC play is 5-1, the very best within the convention. Some notable ACC groups with worse convention highway data embrace: NC State (3-3), Miami (3-4), and Duke (2-4).

Pitt has picked up highway wins over North Carolina, NC State, Northwestern, and Syracuse, amongst others.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: Over the previous two years, all 9 Excessive Main groups with seven highway wins made the match. Pitt has 4 highway video games remaining, and already has six highway wins.

SCORING MARGIN: Pitt has a scoring margin of +5.9 on the season (, which ranks it at No. 80 within the nation in that class. Attributable to a few of the Panthers’ early-season blowout losses (West Virginia by 25, Michigan by 31) and now their run of wire-to-wire shut wins, their scoring margin ranks amongst a few of the lowest groups in Event consideration.

NET OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE EFFICIENCY: In keeping with, Pitt’s offensive effectivity score of 1.055 ranks it because the No. 66 staff within the nation in that class. Pitt’s defensive effectivity score of 0.971 ranks it because the No. 108 staff within the nation.

QUALITY OF WINS AND LOSSES: Pitt is 16-7 general and 9-3 in ACC play. The Panthers personal the next data by quadrant (NET):






@ North Carolina (now 15-7, NET No. 37)

@ NC State (now 17-5, NET No. 40)

@ Northwestern (now 15-6, NET No. 49)


Florida State. The mathematics hates the Seminoles, and it hates losses to the Seminoles much more. FSU ranks because the No. 201 staff within the NET. Pitt misplaced to the ‘Noles at house, making {that a} Quad 4 loss.


If the Panthers proceed to get the job performed within the win column, they’ll be superb. No matter how shut the wins are or how dangerous the opponent is.

Pitt is on the level in its season the place it has crushed tournament-caliber groups on the highway, it has protected its house court docket, and it has set itself up in competitors for an ACC title.

Pitt sits at third within the league with simply eight video games to go. Out of Pitt’s eight video games remaining on the schedule, solely two come towards top-100 groups in NET. It comes right down to what the staff has been saying all 12 months: simply win.

No matter the place Pitt will find yourself in NET, if it will get the job performed within the win column from right here on out, it ought to make the match comfortably.

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