Pitt Vs. Providence: Another Chance To Gauge Miserable Season

This season has been a total failure so far ... that's not in question. What is still in question is just how bad is this Pitt team.

To me, the jury's still out a bit. It's clear this team isn't threatening for an NCAA bid anytime soon, but are they really the worst team in the Big East? Probably not, but until Pitt wins a Big East game, they deserve the basement spot I gave them in this week's Big East Power Rankings and the one they received in the cumulative rankings last week.

That first win will hopefully come tonight against Providence.

The Friars are 12-8 and pretty tough to figure out. They've been steamrolled in road games against Syracuse and St. John's, losing by more than 20 each time, but they've also hung with Marquette and Georgetown. Further complicating matters is the fact that they destroyed Louisville at home a few weeks ago.

I feel reasonably good about this game, but I felt that way in contests against Rutgers and DePaul, too.

What to like: Tray Woodall has a game under his belt and hasn't had any setbacks as he did after the Notre Dame game. And since that disaster against Rutgers two weeks back, the team has been more competitive.

Now for the bad ...

Pitt's offense, while better since that Rutgers game, is still horrendous. The Panthers haven't broken 65 points since a loss to DePaul about three weeks ago. And even though the game is at home, Pitt hasn't won at the Pete in more than a month. Think about that for a second.

The Panthers' vaunted rebounding also might be tested as the Friars come in averaging nearly 40 per game, good for 29th in the country. And, please - let's not even bring up the fact that Providence nearly upset Pitt last year and has played Pitt tough in recent years. The Friars lost by a combined six points each of the past two years and beat Pitt back in 2009 after the Panthers were ranked No. 1 in the country.

I don't doubt that Pitt can win this game, but after what we've seen this season, a loss shouldn't surprise anybody.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt football and basketball.

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