PITTSBURGH — Another significant opportunity has come knocking for the Pitt Panthers, who are in position to be in position to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2016.
The Panthers started a tough three-game stretch off on the right foot by sneaking by Wake Forest for a Quad 2 win earlier this week. But a bigger challenge in Quad 1 and top-20-ranked Miami await them this weekend inside the friendly confines of the Petersen Events Center.
Opponent: No. 20 Miami (14-6 overall, 6-3 ACC)
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Location: Petersen Events Center; Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Broadcast: ACC Network and 93.7 The Fan
Depending on who you bet with, Pitt and Miami could have even odds or the Panthers could be one-point favorites. Either way, sportsbooks don’t know what to do with this game. With that said, Vegas is giving the edge to Pitt’s homecourt advantage and granting them -120 odds on the moneyline while the Hurricanes sit at +100. The point total over/under is set at 148.5.
Strength on Strength
For both the Panthers and the Hurricanes, their strength is in the backcourt. Pitt’s three-headed monster of Jamarius Burton, Greg Elliot and Nelly Cummings will have to contend with one of the best guard duos in America in Jordan Miller and Isaiah Wong, who combine to average 31.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and six assists per game.
There will be no rest for the weary backcourt as they move from facing the electric Tyree Appleby from Wake Forest to the dynamic duo of Miller and Wong, who make just about everything go for the Hurricanes on offense.
Which Pitt Bench Shows Up?
The Panthers have gotten some inconsistent play from their bench as of late and at times, they have been the difference between victory and defeat. Against Florida State, the Pitt reserves were outscored 17-4 by their counterparts from the Seminoles’ side but they scored 20 in a resurgent effort against the Demon Deacons.
Nike Sibande is always a threat to explode for double-digit points and Nate Santos’ energy in pursuit of rebounds and on defense is always apparent. Guillermo Diaz-Graham could be a difference-maker, though. His combination of size and perimeter skill against a Miami team that isn’t particularly imposing along the front line makes this a favorable matchup for Diaz-Graham.
Scroll to Continue
Rare Ranked Opponent
This is just the fourth ranked opponent the Panthers have played this season., with then-No. 20 Michigan, No. 25 North Carolina and No. 11 Virginia being the three others. As Pitt hits the home stretch of the regular season, the opportunities for them to pick up marquee wins are becoming rarer and rarer.
This is one of those rare opportunities. The Panthers have already suffered a devastating loss to Florida State, which undoubtedly sunk their overall resume. The only way to overcome such a slip-up is to beat an elite team and even with their recent struggles, Miami is one of the best in the ACC and a win over them would remedy all the ills done by falling to the Seminoles a week ago.
Make sure you bookmark Inside the Panthers for the latest news, exclusive interviews, recruiting coverage and so much more!
Pitt RB Israel Abanikanda Invited to NFL Combine
Pitt’s Record Shooting Night Was No Fluke
Bracketology Watch: ESPN’s Joe Lunardi Drops Pitt to Last Four In
Pitt Among Early Leaders for Five-Star F Alier Maluk
Shayne Simon, C’Bo Flemister, A.J. Woods Make Return to Pitt Official
Newest Transfers Saw Different Pitt After Last Two Seasons