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Pitt can finish strong against weaker opponents


After a season of ups and downs, sometimes it's difficult to decide just how good Pitt is this year. You can argue any year that the Panthers could be bounced early in the NCAAs or make a deep run, but that might be true more than ever this season.

But the Panthers can drastically improve their NCAA seed by sweeping their final three games of the season. The good news? That should happen.

Pitt starts off with a game Wednesday against South Florida. The Bulls are 10-16, but have won only one game in the conference. That win came against Georgetown, but the team has struggled so much that it's hard to see Pitt losing this game at home. Next up is Villanova, who entered the week 18-10. The Wildcats have beaten several quality teams, but at home, it's a game Pitt should win. Villanova has only one decent road win against UConn and having already beaten the Wildcats on the road, you'd like to think they can get that one. The Panthers finish with DePaul on the road and any reasonable effort should win that game.

If you want to make the argument that the Villanova game will be a tough one, I'll listen to that.The Wildcats have plenty of good wins on their resume. But they also lost to Pitt by 15 earlier this year and lost to Providence ... twice. The Panthers could lose that one, but will be the favorite.

Another argument that could be made is that wins against South Florida and DePaul won't help all that much. But the key to remember is that while Pitt wins those games, the Panthers could jump other teams playing against tougher opponents.

Pitt has a good chance to really put an exclamation point on a good season with three wins to close it out.

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