And you thought Notre Dame was tough.
As difficult as it was facing a Top 25 team in their first ACC game, Pitt's second contest figures to be even more difficult as the Panthers welcome Virginia to the Pete.
Pitt played reasonably well against Notre Dame in taking the Irish to overtime, but had some late-game lapses and gave up some leads along the way to a one-point loss. Tonight, Pitt faces another ranked foe in No. 11 Virginia. The Cavaliers have only two losses on the year and both are to ranked West Virginia and Florida State teams. Making things even more difficult for Pitt is that the loss to the Seminoles was the last time Virginia was on the court and you can bet they'll be hoping to avoid two consecutive losses.
Like Pitt's defeat to Notre Dame, Virginia's loss came on a go-ahead three-pointer near the end of the game.
Virginia is scary deep with ten guys all averaging more than 15 minutes a game. The flip side to that is they don't have any one guy like a Michael Young or Jamel Artis that generally takes over games. In fact, if you take out Austin Nichols' one-game 11-point night earlier this season (he hasn't played since), Virginia doesn't even have a single guy scoring in double digits.
Part of the reason for that, of course, is the Cavaliers' focus on defense. They tend to play lower-scoring games and five of their 11 wins have been won by scoring only in the 50s or 60s. Other than a 90-point outburst against Grambling, Virginia hasn't even scored 80 points in any other games.
This will be a really difficult challenge for Pitt to say the least. I'm particularly interested in how Virginia slows down Young and Artis. Those guys have scored on just about everybody. Will Virginia win with those guys still having big games or will one or both of them be frustrated, leading to a Pitt loss. These are the sorts of matchups I love when it comes to sports.
Game time is at 9:00 p.m. Join us here to comment live during the game.
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