After a debacle of a game against Louisville earlier this week, Pitt's basketball team squares off against Clemson today. With both teams in the midst of horrible skids, it's official - today's game is to avoid the basement of the ACC. More appropriately, it's to get out of the basement since both teams are technically already tied for last place at 1-6 in conference.
There's still a lot of basketball left and at 12-8, the Panthers are still comfortably ahead of .500. But nothing that we've seen over the last four games would give people the idea that finishing at that modest mark is a given - particularly with five more games against ranked teams still ahead.
As for today, you want to have some hope. Clemson is in its own mess of a season right now and Pitt gets the game at home. Still, if you're expecting this to be some sort of gimme, think again.
While the Tigers are only 11-8 on the year, many of their losses have been close. In fact, only two of their eight losses were by double digits. Against ranked Xavier, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Virginia teams, they lost by a combined 18 points. They lost by one to Virginia Tech. They lost by six to Oklahoma. Clemson has been in almost every game they've played and could easily have a couple of more wins under their belt.
I think today's game will give us a good indication of where the season might be headed. Not in terms so much of Pitt potentially turning things around. But a loss here means they are officially the worst team in the ACC (at least for now) and pretty much would look like packing things in. A win doesn't mean they'll turn things around but it at least delays any talk of the season being completely over.
Game time is at noon. God bless Jason Capel and Wes Durham for calling this hot garbage.
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.