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Against the Odds: Virginia a solid favorite over Pitt

Kevin Stallings and Pitt will look to knock off 11th ranked Virginia tonight.

NCAA Basketball: East Carolina at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

After falling, by one, in overtime, to Notre Dame in their ACC opener, Pitt could use their first conference win of the season. Kevin Stallings’ Panthers won’t have any easy task tonight and Vegas is saying as much. That’s because they will face the always tough Virginia Cavaliers. The Cavs opened as a 6 point favorite over Pitt, despite the fact that the game will be in Oakland.

There was a time where confidence was extremely high for Pitt fans when top ranked teams came into The Pete. Confidence is waning and an upset win tonight would be just what the doctor ordered. The atmosphere was fun and good to see from The Oakland Zoo this past weekend, despite a loss to Notre Dame, and they’ll need it again if the Panthers want to even their conference record at one a piece.

There is no secret for Tony Bennett’s UVA team. Once again they sit at the top of the team defense scoring and it’s not even close this season so far. They are giving up 48.6 points per game. The next best defense? Old Dominion is second. They are giving up 56.4. That’s a pretty decent difference between number one and two.

Pitt will have to come out firing and not stop. They must score points. They don’t have to hit 100, but they need to make UVA play a game that is not comfortable for them. Both of Virginia’s losses this season (WVU and Florida State) have seen the Cavs give up over 60 points. The only other game, in which UVA has given up over 60 and won was against Ohio State. It was a nail biter, as they won by 2, 63-61.

It’s no secret what Pitt needs to do. Michael Young and Jamel Artis will look to continue their hot starts this season, but the question is this: will a third scorer show up tonight against the nation’s top defense? If Pitt wants to prove Vegas wrong and get a giant win, someone will have to do it.

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