When it was announced that Pitt's final Big East game against Louisville was going to be televised on ESPNU, there wasn't much expectancy that it would mean anything when it came to the standings. Pitt simply wasn't supposed to be able to compete for much of anything this year, but that's changed.
The Panthers headed into this week tied with South Florida for first place in the conference. Not far behind was Louisville with a 14-4 record, one game off the pace. With the race coming down to the wire, that last series against the Cardinals could mean everything for both teams.
Pitt and Louisville are playing for big stakes in that series. And depending on what happens the rest of the way, things could even come down to that final televised contest. Unfortunately the series is on the road, but the Panthers have played well away from home (15-5 heading into this week).
The games could not only have ramifications on the regular season Big East title, but the NCAA Tournament as well. Barring a collapse down the stretch, Louisville looks like a tournament team. But the Panthers still have some things to prove as evidenced by the fact that despite all of the wins, they are only appearing in the rankings of one major poll. A series win against the Cardinals would greatly help Pitt's NCAA chances.