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Pitt vs. Duke Preview

The Panthers will look to pull out of a two-game skid on Tuesday, when they face the No. 4 Blue Devils

NCAA Basketball: Miami-Florida at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 8 p.m.
Opponent: Duke
Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski (42nd year)
Conference: ACC
Current Record: 25-4
Last Game: 97-72 win vs. Syracuse
2020-21 Season: 13-11 (9-9, 10th in ACC)

Pitt will face its toughest test of the season on Tuesday night, as it will host No. 4 Duke at the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers took down the Blue Devils 79-73 in their most recent meeting on Jan. 19, 2021. However, two very different teams will take the floor on Tuesday.

The Panthers no longer have Au’Diese Toney or Justin Champagnie, who combined for 53 points the last time around. Instead, the new-look team now leans heavily on the likes of John Hugley, Mouhamadou Gueye, Jamarius Burton and Femi Odukale for offensive output, but it has gotten little help from its bench.

Meanwhile, the Blue Devils have bounced back from a down year and have now amassed more wins this season than the Panthers have over the last two seasons. Duke’s resurgence was sparked by the addition of five-star recruits Paolo Banchero, A.J. Griffin and Trevor Keels, who now combine for 38.8 points per game, with Banchero leading the way.

Given the additions Duke has made as well as the recent struggles Pitt has endured over its last two games, losses to Georgia Tech and Miami, it’s unsurprising that the Panthers face long odds in this matchup. Specifically, the Blue Devils, who are on a six-game winning streak, are favored by 14.5 points. And with four of those six wins coming by 10 points or more, it appears that forecast is realistic.