The latest United Soccer Coaches poll was released on Tuesday, and Pitt was ranked among the Top 25 for the first time since 2002. The 17-year drought came to an end after the team earned a 2-1 overtime win over NC State in the second round of the ACC tournament on Sunday afternoon.
Pitt is ranked as the No. 25 team in the nation and received 54 votes in this week’s edition of the poll. Last week, Pitt had 11 votes and was nine spots outside of the Top 25. Meanwhile, NC State was just one spot removed from the Top 25 last week and had 27 votes. A win in the tournament would have easily boosted the Wolf Pack into the ranking, but with the loss, their vote total fell to 12 and they dropped back to four spots out of the Top 25.
While the ranking is a major achievement for a Pitt team that has been stuck on the outside looking in for the better part of two decades, maintaining that ranking will be a tall order, as its next matchup in the ACC tournament is with Clemson, the No. 1 team in the country.
Pitt has faced Clemson three times in the past five years and is 1-2 over that span. The Panthers were shut out by the Tigers in 2014 and 2017, but they beat them 2-1 in double-overtime in 2018. In addition, Pitt has already toppled the No. 1 team in the nation once this season with a 2-0 win over Virginia on Oct. 18. So neither a win over Clemson nor an upset of a No. 1 team would be unprecedented for Pitt.
The Panthers will face the Tigers on the road in the third round of the ACC tournament on Wednesday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. ET, and the game will air on the ACC Network.