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Pitt Falls to Virginia 59-56

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Panther’s late-game comeback falls just short.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

At the under four time-out of the second half, UVA was up 53-41. It seemed like another typical Tony Bennett Virginia win. Close enough that you believe your team can make a run, but it never happens.

But then it did. After UVA made one of two free throws. Pitt closed the game on a 15-5 run and had a chance to win the game with a three-pointer in the final seconds. Unfortunately, McGowens’ corner three rimmed out and Murphy could not get a shot off in time to tie it a play later.

The comeback effort was led by Xavier Johnson who had 16 points to go along with a career high six steals. Au’Diese Toney also finished in double figures with 13 on an impressive 6-8 from the field. Virginia guard Kihei Clark had 17 for the Cavaliers.

Pitt has three winnable games left (Syracuse, @NC State, @Georgia Tech). If they can win all three they have a chance at sneaking into the NIT field, which I would consider a huge accomplishment in year two of the Jeff Capel era. NIT Bracketology from Mid Major Madness has them on the outside looking in.

I’ll be taking a deeper look into Pitt’s play at the end of the game later this weekend. Until then.

Hail to Pitt.