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Pitt vs. Boston College Preview

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 4:26 p.m.
Opponent: Boston College
Head Coach: Earl Grant (first year)
Conference: ACC
Current Record: 8-11
Last Game: 58-47 loss vs. North Carolina
2020-21 Season: 4-16 (2-11, 15th in ACC)

Pitt and Boston College are set to square off at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill on Sunday, despite the fact that a blizzard buried much of the Boston area under roughly two feet of snow. That storm saw the game pushed back a day, but with the game still on, Pitt will get an opportunity to capitalize on a matchup with a Boston College team that has lost eight of its last 10 games, including a Jan. 8 contest with Pitt that the Panthers won 69-67.

Last time around, the Panthers were willed to victory by John Hugley, who scored 32 of his team’s 69 points. But he had help from Femi Odukale and Jamarius Burton, who combined for 25 points. This time around, Hugley will also have the help of Ithiel Horton, who is set to return from a suspension. In Horton’s lone appearance this season, he scored 13 points against Louisville and gave the Pitt offense a significant boost in a 75-72 loss.

As for Boston College, the team has continued to fight through its struggles and remains a threat to take down Pitt. In fact, the Eagles enter the game as four-point favorites over the Panthers despite the outcome of the Jan. 8 matchup and Pitt’s addition of Horton to its lineup. That likely stems from Boston College’s recent wins over Clemson and Virginia Tech, but with only Makai Ashton-Langford and DeMarr Langford averaging double-figure point totals, the Eagles could find themselves outgunned by a Panthers team with four such players and two solid frontcourt contributors in Hugley and Mouhamadou Gueye.

With all that said, Pitt has struggled to a 1-5 record on the road, and the team will have an additional hurdle to overcome on Sunday, as Pitt head coach Jeff Capel and assistant coach Jason Capel did not make the trip to Boston with the team due to COVID-19 protocols.