Before Pitt's win against North Carolina, most of us were resigned to Pitt getting a crappy seed. Heck, some were still even convinced that without beating the Tar Heels that Pitt was still a bubble team.
But the Panthers' 80-75 win over the Tar Heels threw all of that out the window. Pitt is now in and the question really becomes one of how high the team can go.
By a lot of reasonable accounts, if Pitt was a No. 10 seed before the game, many will say that the team should be a No. 9 now. Here's why I don't buy that.
Before the game, Pitt was a No. 10 and North Carolina was a No. 4, according to Joe Lunardi. However, look at the facts. Pitt is now 1-1 against the Tar Heels in two virtual road games. The loss was only by a scant four points in a very close game. The Panthers are 25-8 to North Carolina's 23-9. The Tar Heels also own some pretty weak losses to teams like UAB, Miami, and Wake Forest earlier in the season.
The thing against Pitt, though, is that the Tar Heels have better wins with victories against Michigan State, Duke, and Louisville. Also impressive is that two of those wins were in the non-conference. Pitt's non-con slate was poor and because of that I'm not advocating that the Panthers get a higher seed than North Carolina right now.
The Tar Heels shouldn't logically be 4-5 seeds ahead of the Panthers and such a slotting would be ridiculous. That represents a ranking of 16 to 20 teams and there just isn't all that much difference between the two teams. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, but if Pitt hangs on for even just the Syracuse win, we're talking about this team is a No. 4 or No. 5 seed - and one lucky shot just shouldn't change things that much.
The other reason the win should propel Pitt much higher is because of the standings of the other teams. After all, can you really tell me that current No. 5 seeds according to Lunardi such as Michigan State (23-8), Oklahoma (23-8), UConn (24-7), and Ohio State (25-8) are realistically four full seeds ahead of the Panthers.
I'm not advocating that Pitt should be all the way up to a No. 5 seed after today's win. But does it really make much sense for them to only be a No. 9 right now ... or even a No. 8? I just don't see how two last second-shots against top ten teams should mean the difference in seeding by the large margin there likely is right now between Pitt and some of those current No. 5s.
Just food for thought.
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