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ESPN ranks the Pete 'Middle of the Pack' in most difficult ACC venues to win

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN had a recent look at the ACC's basketball venues and took a shot at ranking them in terms of toughest places to win.

Now, unfortunately, it doesn't go into the specifics of how they determined the rankings. And since they said attendance and capacity are part of the equation, this is more about most difficult places to play - not necessarily win. After all, if a school sells out every game and has a huge attendance but never wins, it can't really be deemed a difficult place to score a victory.

Still, sticking with the theme of most difficult place to win, Pitt's famed Petersen Events Center didn't fare too well. The Panthers were practically right in the middle, checking in seventh overall behind Duke, Virginia, Louisville, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Notre Dame.

Pitt, of course, hasn't dominated home games like they used to and that point isn't lost on ESPN, which pointed out that the Panthers have lost 11 home games in their past three seasons. But the article also says that the Panthers' student section is probably second to only Duke.

Much of this has to do with Pitt's teams as a whole over that stretch. The basketball program hasn't taken a nosedive in the past few years, but they are significantly behind the teams in the 2000s and early part of this decade. To me, Pitt's home record has been more about the actual teams being down than it is about the Pete.

The students still do a great job and while some of the venue can have a somewhat stale feel when it comes to older fans in attendance, that's always been the case. And while tickets may be a little easier to come by, the conference games are still sellouts or very close to it with strong attendance.

Pitt's teams have been down lately and there's no denying that. But at the end of the day, I just don't know how the venue is an easier place to play than it was say ten years ago.

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