Pitt's season came to an end on Wednesday afternoon, as the team fell to NC State by a score of 73-58 in the second round of the ACC tournament. But one standout play in the loss by Panthers guard Justin Champagnie earned recognition in the Top 10 of the overnight edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter.
The play in question was a putback slam by Champagnie that came in at No. 4 on the daily countdown of top plays. The emphatic dunk followed a three-point shot by Trey McGowens that was off the mark. McGowens threw up the shot from about five feet behind the top of the key at the 4:59 mark in the first half.
McGowens' shot rimmed out and ricocheted off the backboard, but it was well tracked by the freshman out of Brooklyn who approached the basket unimpeded from the perimeter. Catching the ball with his outstretched hand, Champagnie slammed it home to bring the Panthers within eight points of the Wolf Pack.
Champagnie’s dunk gave Pitt its first two points in a 9-0 run that brought the team within one point of NC State with 3:29 left to go in the half. And with only two Wolf Pack jumpers and two Panthers free throws following the run, Pitt would finish the half within striking distance of NC State, with the score at 35-32.
While the Panthers showed a lot of fight early in the game, the Wolf Pack would pull away from them in the second half and ultimately hand them a 15-point defeat in front of a crowd at Greensboro Coliseum clad largely in NC State red. The loss dropped Pitt to 16-17 on the season and ended an ACC tournament run that began with an 81-72 over Wake Forest.
The play was one of four top plays from college basketball’s conference tournaments on Wednesday. It topped an authoritative block by Georgia’s Jordan Harris in the SEC tournament, which came in at No. 9, and a game-winning three-pointer by Oregon State’s Jarod Lucas in the Pac-12 tournament, which came in at No. 6. A half-court buzzer-beater by Georgia’s Sahvir Wheeler came in at No. 1.