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Pitt vs. Boston College Preview

The Panthers are favored over the Eagles, but another close matchup is expected, which could be trouble

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 4 p.m.
Opponent: Boston College
Head Coach: Earl Grant (first year)
Conference: ACC
Current Record: 6-6
Last Game: 91-65 loss vs. North Carolina
2020-21 Season: 4-16 (2-11, 15th in ACC)

Pitt is set to face Boston College at the Pete on Saturday, following a tough 75-72 loss to a good Louisville team. The Panthers come into the game favored to win by 3.5 points, but they have struggled in close games lately, losing five out of eight matchups decided by five points or fewer this season. To avoid that all too common fate once again, the Panthers will likely need solid performances from John Hugley — who leads the team in points and rebounds, with 14.5 and 7.9 per game — and Jamarius Burton, who has been Pitt’s most consistent player, scoring in double figures in each of the last seven games.

As for Boston College, it relies on DeMarr Langford, Makai Ashton-Langford and Jaeden Zackery — all of whom are averaging at least 10 points per game — for the bulk of its output. The Eagles also have some decent size and a trio of solid frontcourt contributors in T.J. Bickerstaff, Quinten Post and James Karnik. Karnik, in particular, could be a problem for Pitt, as he put up a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double in Boston College’s ACC opener and posted similar figures against Rhode Island. So keeping Karnik as well as the Boston College backcourt in check would benefit Pitt greatly.

With all that said, this a high-stakes matchup for Pitt, as one of just a handful of games on their schedule that appear winnable. And if the Panthers want to pull out of their current losing streak, this will be their best opportunity to do so this month, as they have five tough games ahead after their tilt with the Eagles.