Pitt welcomes Maryland to the Pete in first ACC home game

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt's first ACC home game will come, ironically, against a team in its final season in the conference. After this season, the Maryland Terrapins will leave the ACC and join the Big Ten.

Maryland could provide a good test for Pitt, but thus far, their season has been a bit up and down. The Terps come into the Pete with five losses already. A couple were to solid ranked teams in UConn and Ohio State, and a third came against a 12-2 George Washington team. But two have also come at the hands of Oregon State and Boston University. They've also had some close calls against the likes of FAU and Providence, winning by only four against each.

For what it's worth, the Terrapins are 2-0 in the conference, but have played a 4-11 Boston College team that looks to be the worst in the ACC and a 9-5 Georgia Tech team that figures to be near the bottom of the league as well.

None of this, though, should mean that Pitt is taking Maryland lightly, obviously. The Terps come into the game ranking statistically better on the boards than Pitt and as we saw against North Carolina State, that was a problem area for the Panthers. Maryland also ranks 17th in the nation in assists, and that generally means they are finding the open man well and getting good shots off.

They're also a fairly deep team - like Pitt they legitimately go ten deep. One of those players is Seth Allen, who just returned from a fractured foot. Allen has played in Maryland's last three games and is really providing a boost the team. In 20 minutes a game since his return, he's averaging 10.3 points and 3.0 assists. Allen has struggled with his shot, making only 38% of his attempts), but is still giving the team a nice lift.

In the end, though, I like Pitt here. The Panthers get the game at home and that's always a huge advantage. Pitt comes into the game as 9.5-point favorites as of Sunday night and that's a pretty big number for a conference game. A win isn't guaranteed here, but the Panthers appear to have an edge.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

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