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No. 17 Pitt Makes an attempt to Clinch ACC Common Season Title with win over No. 7 NC State



No. 17 Pitt comes off an important weekend of wrestling that showcased the perfect of their wrestlers. They defeated North Carolina on the Petersen Occasions Middle on Friday, Feb. 3 to take prime spot within the ACC with a 3-0 report. Pitt additionally battled with No. 3 Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Fitzgerald Subject Home and solely misplaced on standards factors after each groups gained 5 matches every on determination.

The schedule continues to supply Pitt with one other problem this weekend, as they journey to Raleigh, N.C. to tackle No. 6 NC State on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.

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

Pittsburgh Wrestling Club

The Wolfpack have a 12-1 total report and a 2-1 convention report, with a loss on the highway to the then ranked No. 8 Virginia Tech Hokies on Jan. 20. They simply defeated Duke, 46-3, at residence on Jan. 27 and took care of Virginia, 34-4, final Friday.

A victory for Pitt towards NC State wouldn’t solely be the primary within the sequence since 2019, but additionally would clinch the ACC common season title, their first since 2014. NC State leads the all-time sequence towards Pitt, 7-2.

The possible matchups seem like this:

Weight Class-Pitt wrestler vs. Iowa State wrestler.

125-No. 32 redshirt junior Colton Camacho vs. No. 27 redshirt junior Jarrett Trombley

133-No. 6 redshirt senior Micky Phillippi vs. No. 20 redshirt sophomore Kai Orine

141-No. 3 redshirt senior Cole Matthews vs. No. 4 sophomore Ryan Jack

149-No. 28 redshirt sophomore Tyler Badgett vs. No. 17 first-year Jack Arrington

157-First-year Jared Keslar OR senior Dazjon Casto vs. No. 7 sophomore Ed Scott

165-No. 24 redshirt senior Holden Heller vs. No. 26 first-year Matthew Singleton OR redshirt first-year Derek Fields

174-First-year Luca Augustine vs. No. 29 redshirt junior Alex Faison

184-No. 17 redshirt junior Reece Heller vs. No. 3 redshirt junior Trent Hidlay

197-No. 1 redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi vs. No. 8 sophomore Isaac Trumble

Heavyweight-No. 10 first-year Dayton Pitzer or senior Jake Slinger vs. No. 12 redshirt sophomore Owen Trephan

The plain matchup that the majority followers across the nation will deal with is Matthews (15-1) vs. Jack (18-1) at 141 kilos. Matthews defeated Jack in 2022 in a 3-1 determination and can try to do the identical to remain on the prime of the rankings/assist Pitt win this match.

Phillippi (11-1) and Orine (10-4) additionally wrestled one another least 12 months, with Phillippi successful in a 4-1 determination. Setting the tone early is essential for each squads and the winner will play an enormous half in doing so.

Pitzer (7-2), who has confirmed himself towards a few of the greatest within the nation within the heavyweight class this season, misplaced a tricky matchup late to then ranked No. 10 Iowa State graduate Sam Schuyler in a 4-3 determination. He comes up towards an important opponent once more in Trephan (15-3), which can doubtless function his ultimate matchup of the season, if Panthers head coach Keith Gavin chooses to redshirt him. Slinger (8-6) may additionally wrestle at heavyweight for Pitt.

Bonaccorsi (12-0) earned the No. 1 rating at 197 kilos after incomes a late, dramatic win over No. 5 Iowa State junior Yonger Bastida final Saturday in a 6-4 determination. He takes on Trumble (16-2), who defeated him final 12 months in a detailed, 2-0 determination.

Reece Heller (15-5) comes off two losses towards nice opponents in Iowa State No. 4 graduate Marcus Coleman and North Carolina No. 13 junior Gavin Kane final weekend. It will get even tougher for him on Friday as he takes on Hidlay (16-1), who has gained the earlier two ACC titles at 184 kilos.

Camacho (14-7) faces a stable opponent in Trombley (10-6) at 125 kilos. His efficiency will play a big half within the match for the Panthers, as matches usually begin at that weight.

Badgett (15-9) and Arrington (17-6) at 149 kilos must be one of many higher bouts on this matchup. Holden Heller (10-5) and   Singleton (8-4) at 165 kilos must also function two evenly matched wrestlers. Fields (6-6) can be possible at 165 kilos for the Wolfpack.

Augustine (12-7) comes off two wins final weekend, together with an upset on tie breakers towards over UNC No. 8 graduate Clay Lautt, which earned him ACC Wrestler of the Week honors. He’ll try to increase his successful streak with a victory over Faison (12-5) to assist his staff win the ACC title.

Keslar (11-4) wrestled twice final weekend instead of the injured Casto (5-6) at 157 kilos, dropping twice to North Carolina No. 3 graduate Austin O’Connor and Iowa State No. 27 senior Jason Kraisser.

If Casto is wholesome, he’ll wrestle, but when not, Keslar will take his place this trip as Scott (13-5) comes out as the massive favourite in both matchup.


5 Issues to Know Earlier than No. 11 Pitt vs. No. 3 Xavier within the NCAA Event



GREENSBORO, N.C. – Pitt appears to depart Greensboro with a whole 180 of its final end result within the ACC Event and proceed taking part in significant basketball in March. The Panthers defeated Mississippi State within the First 4 and Iowa State within the Spherical of 64, advancing to the Second Spherical of March Insanity.

Listed below are 5 issues to know forward of the No. 11 Pitt’s event recreation in opposition to the No. 3 Xavier Musketeers.

Hi there, Outdated Buddy

It will likely be a bittersweet afternoon for Xavier head coach Sean Miller, dealing with his aluma matter and former program with a spot within the Candy 16 on the road. 

It was an enormous deal when Sean went to Pitt,” head coach Capel mentioned. “He was a four-year starter. Actually, actually good participant. Bought the help on essentially the most well-known play ever on the College of Pittsburgh and one of many best performs ever in faculty basketball historical past. He’s a Pitt man. He has been an impressive coach.”

Miller – within the first yr of his second stint at Xavier – performed for the Panthers from 1987-92. A Beaver County native and Blackhawk alum, Miller delivered some of the iconic passes in Panther historical past to Jerome Lane to finish the well-known play: “Ship it in Jerome!” Miller by no means actually bought near returning to Pitt at any level to educate. 

“It by no means labored out,” Miller mentioned. “You realize, I feel for me that’s all the higher as a result of in some methods I would like my recollections of Pitt to be once I was there as a scholar, as a participant.”

1,500-Level Membership

Throughout the Panthers’ 18-point win in opposition to Iowa State, Nelly Cummings and Jamarius Burton each surpassed the 1,500-point plateau. 

“To be sincere, I didn’t actually learn about it till after the sport,” Cummings mentioned. “It’s undoubtedly a milestone that someday I’ll have the ability to look again and admire.”

Cummings has scored 392 factors in his lone season at Pitt following three years at Colgate and one season for Bowling Inexperienced. Pitt can also be Burton’s third workforce, proudly owning 875 Panther factors. 

“It by no means was a objective of mine,” Burton mentioned. “I credit score everyone that was part of it. From managers, to the teaching workers, and mentors. There’s been lots of people which have helped me by way of my faculty profession.”


Pitt and Xavier are two of the highest three-point taking pictures groups within the nation. The Panthers rank thirtieth within the nation in three-point subject objectives (9.1) and shoot 36.1% behind the arc. On the alternative aspect, The Musketeers make 7.4 per recreation and are fourth within the nation at 39.1%. 

A quick-paced offense scoring over 81 factors per recreation, Xavier can also be fourth within the nation in field-goal proportion at 49.4%. Pitt does personal the benefit on the free-throw line (76.2-71.5%) and averages 75.2 factors per contest.


The Pitt-Xavier Unfold is ready at Xavier (-5) per DraftKings Sportsbook. 

The over/below is hovering round 149 complete factors. Pitt’s particular person workforce over/below is ready at 72.5. 

Based on Workforce Rankings, Pitt ranks because the No. 2 workforce within the nation in opposition to the unfold, with a 24-10-1 report (70.6%). 

Xavier is 18-16-1 ATS this season (52.9%).


The matchup will tip off at 12:10 p.m. on CBS, with Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel and Evan Washburn on the decision. 

93.7 The Fan may have protection all through the sport in Pittsburgh. 

Following the matchup, No. 6 Kentucky and No. 3 Kansas State will matchup at 2:40 p.m. on CBS.

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FanDuel Promo Code: 10x Your Wager for Any Sunday March Insanity Matchup



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Pitt’s Offense Is Means Forward of The place It Was A 12 months In the past, What Does That Imply?



A shift in offensive coordinator typically leads to a brand new scheme, new gamers and new methods to maneuver the soccer. As Pitt shifted from Mark Whipple to Frank Cignetti Jr. final offseason, there was a corresponding shift in identification.

Whipple and Cignetti function their respective offenses in very alternative ways, so it solely made sense that there’d be a shift in values and beliefs. However I don’t know if anybody was ready for not simply the shift within the scheme however the sheer duty of studying Cignetti’s offense. It’s a really, very expansive playbook, in any case.

Let’s simply take a look at the place Pitt, based on Cignetti himself, stands now when it comes to offensive set up in comparison with the place it was this time final yr.

As Cignetti regarded again on final yr’s spring session, after two spring practices, he estimated there was about 15% of the offense put in. On the identical level this yr? He estimated about 60% of the offense is put in.

Regardless of a brand new quarterback, amongst different positions breaking in new starters, Pitt isn’t putting in the fundamental foundations of an offense — a run scheme, how you can shield or something of the kind. It was a methodical set up final spring, one which took time. It’s time that may be utilized in a different way this yr.

“We had a system to show,” Cignetti mentioned Thursday on the UPMC Rooney Sports activities Complicated. “Properly, the system’s been taught. And the gamers know the system, in order coaches, we don’t ever need to maintain them again, we need to come out right here and play soccer as quick as we are able to, so whenever you checked out follow one and two, you noticed a number of offense. You noticed a number of quantity, and also you noticed totally different kinds of play.”

It was, based on Cignetti, two good days to kick off the spring, however I’d have been shocked to listen to anything. The pads had been off, quarterbacks had been largely throwing in opposition to the air and the gamers haven’t even hit the outside but.

However as Pitt’s offense doesn’t have to put in a base go or run scheme, a system of how you can run a no-huddle offense, it’s extra of a ‘hit-the-ground-running’ type of deal right here. Cignetti seems like Pitt’s offense is simply choosing up the place it left off in opposition to UCLA.

“The gamers — I feel — have actually loved it as a result of we’re not holding them again going by methodical installations,” Cignetti mentioned. “We come out right here and we play ball. The opposite factor I can inform, and all of us can inform as offensive coaches, is that our gamers know what they’re doing.

“Check out the receiver group. Final yr right now, it was a methodical set up. They had been studying a brand new system, and whenever you take a look at guys like Bub Means and (Konata Mumpfield), you cannot solely see they know precisely what they’re doing however you see the management and what a terrific job they’re doing serving to others.”

That’s telling. There wasn’t nice quarterback play in 2022, however exterior of Jared Wayne, there wasn’t constant vast receiver play both. There by no means seemed to be any kind of cohesion. It was unusual within the sense that it simply didn’t get higher. It was as if every week, followers — and the workforce alike — held their breath in anticipation of the offense clicking, of the vast receiver operating the proper routes, the precise patterns on the proper tempo, however it didn’t occur.

When Pat Narduzzi would defend Slovis, he would typically allude to the truth that it wasn’t simply Slovis who was out of kinds. The chemistry between Slovis and his vast receivers simply wasn’t there. Mumpfield, Means, Daejon Reynolds and a plethora of younger, thrilling choices are again.

Pittsburgh Panthers vast receiver Konata Mumpfield (14) September 24, 2022 David Hague/PSN

Who’s again at quarterback? Properly, there’s one man who is aware of Cignetti fairly nicely.

It’s Phil Jurkovec’s third yr, technically, in Cignetti’s offense — reunited this season after spending the 2020-21 seasons collectively at Boston School. And as Cignetti has watched Jurkovec by the very early portion of the offseason, he’s seen a man who is aware of the offense, who is aware of what he’s doing throughout all phases.

Jurkovec — regardless of simply a few spring practices — has made the precise reads each along with his arm and his legs, making fast reads within the passing sport and selecting the best time to exit the pocket, and he’s displayed a degree of management that maybe he didn’t even have when he quarterbacked Cignetti’s offense at BC.

Cignetti has seen Jurkovec’s progress as a frontrunner, however he made certain to incorporate all of his quarterbacks when speaking in regards to the maturity that he’s seen this spring.

Jurkovec is a brand new arrival, however after all, he’s not alone. Christian Veilleux arrived from Penn State and Ty Dieffenbach arrived as an early enrollee. Nate Yarnell was the one true holdover from final season’s roster. Cignetti likes the room as a complete.

“It’s a terrific room,” Cignetti mentioned. “First off, bringing in 4 new quarterbacks, they’ve actually labored nicely collectively. I feel they’re having a number of enjoyable collectively; they’re competing with one another and it’s a terrific room. Jon DiBiaso and the brand new guys, they’ve put a number of time into it, they’ve had nice effort, nice preparation within the offseason for spring follow.”

Jurkovec and Veilleux (who Cignetti praised as a man who throws a phenomenal ball, possesses the precise soccer IQ and places the required time and work into it) had been the big-ticket switch additions this offseason, probably arriving as the current and way forward for the place, however Cignetti has made certain to emphasise that it’s a battle that doesn’t simply function these two — Yarnell is round, too.

Cignetti mentioned that when each Jurkovec and Veilleux arrived in Pittsburgh, they knew it wouldn’t simply be a contest between the 2; it’d be a three-way battle. It’s not like final season’s battle, based on Cignetti, as a result of there are three guys within the combine.

“Final yr right now, Nate wasn’t even practising,” Cignetti mentioned. “We didn’t even know who Nate was but. And you bought guys, like final yr, which have gained soccer video games earlier than. Similar to final yr once we had Kedon (Slovis) and Nick (Patti), they’d some expertise to them, and we’re lucky sufficient this yr to the place Phil and Christian — they’ve gained video games. Phil’s gained a number of video games, Christian beat Rutgers up there at Penn State and Nate beat Western Michigan.”

Nevertheless, at the same time as Yarnell’s title is thrown round as a contender, it nonetheless feels prefer it’s a battle between Jurkovec and Veilleux. You don’t herald two high-profile quarterbacks — one with one season of eligibility and one with three — with no plan.

Jurkovec has the very early benefit, figuring out each Cignetti and his offensive gameplan very nicely, contemplating their years collectively, however Veilleux will push him onerous.

If there’s a purpose for optimism, it’s that familiarity. Slovis, on the threat of sounding bitter, clearly wasn’t a match within the system. Jurkovec is extra acquainted, extra athletic and higher outfitted to run Cignetti’s offense. And Veilleux, and Yarnell, clearly know the offense nicely. The offensive set up is nicely over midway full.

In fact, whereas the quarterback competitors will dominate headlines going ahead for good purpose, the duty of changing Israel Abanikanda within the offense isn’t enviable. However as Rodney Hammond Jr. sat behind Abanikanda final season, frequently rising inside Cignetti’s system, he’s the right participant to step ahead. Don’t be shocked if Hammond emerges as the very best operating again within the ACC.

Rodney Hammond (9) – September 25, 2021 David Hague/PSN

Pitt’s offense will take advantage of a deep secure that features C’Bo Flemister and Derrick Davis Jr., however it’s clear that Cignetti’s offense does permit for a man to face out. It was Abanikanda final season, and it is going to be Hammond this coming season.

They’re two very totally different sorts of operating backs, however regardless, Hammond shall be an ideal complement to whoever comes away with the beginning job within the fall.

And that’s all with out accounting for the expansion Gavin Bartholomew ought to have within the system, his second season with Cignetti, and any rising choices at vast receiver, somebody like Lamar Seymore.

Pitt’s offensive woes in 2022, as Slovis was seemingly unable to search out the subsequent degree along with his personnel, had been complicated. But when Pitt’s capable of totally implement Cignetti’s offense, spend a full season with a quarterback and vast receiver who’re on the identical web page, to associate with an All-ACC operating again, the sky is the restrict.

Will probably be very fascinating to comply with the development of the offense all through the spring.

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