The Pitt basketball program has sunk to surprising new depths under head coach Kevin Stallings this season, and now, the Panthers have been saddled with another dubious distinction.
Ken Pomeroy updated his rankings after Pitt’s disappointing 69-54 loss to a beatable Georgia Tech team on Saturday, and he now ranks the Panthers as the worst Division I basketball team in the Pittsburgh area.
As of early Sunday morning, Pitt placed 202nd in the rankings, Robert Morris ranked 197th and Duquesne led the way at 169th amid a breakout campaign under first-year head coach Keith Dambrot.
The teams' records bear out Pomeroy’s assessment, as Pitt is 8-10 overall and winless in the ACC. Meanwhile, Robert Morris has defied expectations to go 11-8 and sit atop the Northeast Conference, and Duquesne has bested the Colonials, going 13-5 in the more competitive Atlantic 10 to earn a second-place conference ranking.
One potential discrepancy is the head-to-head result between Pitt and Duquesne, as the Panthers topped the Dukes 76-64 in the City Game on Dec. 1. Of course, the loss of senior forward Ryan Luther has hamstrung the Panthers since then, and there’s no guarantee they could replicate that result if the teams played again today.
And with that said, if potential to make the tournament outweighs potential to succeed in head-to-head matchups, as it probably should, then it seems the teams are placed right where they belong.
The outlook doesn’t seem promising for Pitt from here on out, either, as Pomeroy has predicted the Panthers will go winless in the ACC this season. Conversely, Pomeroy ranks Duquesne’s schedule as the easiest in Division I basketball, so it would be surprising if they suddenly strayed off course.
The next team on the docket for Pitt is Syracuse, which has gone 12-6 and ranks 46th among DI teams, according to Pomeroy. The ACC rivals will face off at the Carrier Dome Tuesday at 9 p.m.