The Pitt Panthers and Virginia Cavaliers went in and played an absolute battle Sunday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center. Call it bad offense, or good defense,whatever it was, it resulted in a Pitt 48-45 defeat. In a final sequence where James Robinson missed a three, Artis came flying in to get the rebound only to miss the layup and giving Virginia one more chance with 9 seconds. Virginia took full advantage of the time remaining as Malcolm Brogdon buried a three with .04 on the game clock.
Pitt was paced by reserve freshman forward, Jamel Artis as he had an important 11 points and 7 rebounds, but some of the Pitt starters certainly did not come to play today. Lamar Patterson finished with 10 points on 3-14 shooting and missed much of the second half with foul trouble. Talib Zanna had a rough game with only 2 points and 3 rebounds, but was able to get back in after a serious looking ankle injury in the first half. James Robinson had a poor showing as well, finishing with one point.
If Pitt gets 13 points combined from their three best players, you can't expect much in the way of a victory. In fact, it was a down right miricle Pitt kept things close against a very good Virginia team led by a superb talent in Joe Harris. So what does all this mean? It means Pitt's tournament resume is in trouble, and their ACC title hopes are all but over. Pitt is still a tournament team, but the seeding is what comes into question. Pitt has no quality wins to speak of, and this would have been a good start.
Pitt almost assuredly will fall from the rankings this week with two losses, albeit to two quality teams. Over half of the AP poll lost this week, but its hard to imagine keeping Pitt in there. Obviously today was a tough one to swallow, but from here Pitt has two winnable games ahead next week, and they absolutely have to get it done. Pitt will travel to Miami Wednesday to face a 11-10 team, before hosting a bad Virginia Tech team Saturday. All that comes before the rematch with Syracuse.