Well, it might not be No. 1 Virginia, but Pitt still faces a tall order in trying to defeat Notre Dame on the road in its final regular season game on Wednesday.
The Panthers have one final chance for a regular season ACC victory but like most others this year, it looks like a long shot.
The Irish have had their share of struggles. At one point, they lost seven straight ACC games. Even recently, Notre Dame hasn’t been all that impressive. They were dominated in a recent road loss to North Carolina and after defeating Boston College, also dropped a game to Miami. They did get a victory their last time out, but they narrowly defeated Wake Forest by only five points.
Despite that, Notre Dame still is a significantly better team than Pitt. More importantly, the Irish still have something to play for as they hope to sneak into the NCAAs or head to the NIT. At 17-12, Notre Dame really can’t afford a loss to Pitt here as it would severely damage their resume. It’s also Senior Day for the Irish and, even though they’re facing No. 1 Virginia this weekend, you have to expect they’re coming out in this one and won’t be looking ahead in the slightest.
Pitt’s offense, as it has been, will continue to be under the microscope. Save for a 75-point output against Florida State a few games ago, the Panthers have not topped the 60-point mark since facing North Carolina in the beginning of February.
While things were bad offensively, we saw a new low this past weekend as Pitt scored a meager 37 points against Virginia. That came after a shockingly bad seven-point first half performance, one of the worst that modern college basketball has ever seen.
As I wrote earlier this week, I have to imagine that Pitt’s players are glad to see this season coming to a close. They may not give up but, based on what we’ve seen all year, it’s difficult to imagine the team being competitive against Notre Dame in its final contest.