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Pitt-Central Arkansas Open Game Thread

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Pitt looks to continue their early season hot streak

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Notre Dame vs Pittsburgh Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Opponent: Central Arkansas Bears

Conference: Southland

Current Record “2-1” (0-0)

Last Game: Nov 12, W 93-52 over University of the Ozarks.

2017 Season: 18-17 (10-8), 7th place

Key Losses: G Jordan Howard (25.1 ppg, graduation) G Mathieu Kamba (13.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, graduation)

Key Returnees G Thatch Unruh (8.7 ppg), C Hayden Koval (8.7 ppg, 3.1 bpg)

The Bears lost their four year starting backcourt of Howard and Kamba to graduation. Howard, the school’s all-time leading scorer (2524), was last year’s Southland Conference Player of the Year. He finished 83 points shy of the conference scoring record, held by some guy named Joe Dumars.

Last Meeting: Dec 6, 2015. Pitt 100 Central Arkansas 47.

The only carry-over from that game is Tanner Schmitt, a 6’8” reserve forward. He scored four points in the last meeting.

What we said in the recap: “After today, the Bears are only 1-7 on the year and one of the worst teams the Panthers will face. You still have to go out there and play, though, and any time you beat a team by more than 50 points, that’s saying something.”

Prediction: The Bears were picked to finish 8th in the conference coming off last season’s CBI quarterfinal appearance. At 18-17 it was their first winning record in Division 1. The loss of Howard is crushing as he would be considered the school’s greatest player if Scottie Pippen did not exist. If Pitt can avoid the 7 foot Koval, they should have no problem covering the spread (13 points) for a fourth straight game. Pitt wins, 85-65.

Hail to Pitt.