Virginia Tech is coming off a grueling double overtime win over in-state rival UVA. Pitt is coming off two straight wins and has looked like they actually care for the better part of the last few weeks. Add to this that the game this evening is at the friendly Pete with The Oakland Zoo behind the Panthers, and Vegas has given Pitt the favorite status by 3.5 points.
The game will begin at 7PM this evening and can be viewed on ESPN2. Buzz Williams will bring in the Hokies into this contest with a 17-7 record and 6-6 in the ACC. Williams is only in his third year in Blacksburg, but he’s taken VT from the conference laughing stock to a team no one takes lightly anymore. We all remember Williams’ dancing ways at Marquette, so Pitt will hope to keep him from doing a little shuffle in front of The Zoo on Valentine’s Day.
As mentioned, the Panthers are playing much better lately since that little 55 point embarrassment against Louisville a few weeks ago. They now stand at 14-11 and are 3-9 in the conference. Kevin Stallings seems to have gotten through to the team and Pitt is suddenly getting contributions from reserves too. Ryan Luther could also be very close to coming back as well, which could make Pitt someone that teams just don’t want to face in the ACC tournament.
The Panthers want to get one of those winning streak things going and will need a big win this evening to do it. The NCAA Tournament may just be a pipe dream for Pitt this season. They dug that hole way too deep to come out of it, but the competitive basketball has been much more fun to watch for fans. The Panthers need to keep it going this evening and could use a nice boost from the home crowd.