Game Time: 2 p.m.
Opponent: Boston College
Head Coach: Earl Grant (first year)
Current Record: 11-19
Last Game: 82-78 loss vs. Georgia Tech
2020-21 Season: 4-16 (2-11, 15th in ACC)
Pitt is set to face Boston College at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Tuesday in the first round of the ACC tournament. This will be the third meeting between the Panthers and Eagles this season, as Pitt edged out Boston College 69-67 on Jan. 8 at home but then fell to the same team 69-56 on the road Jan. 30.
With Pitt at 11-20 and Boston College at 11-19, the teams enter the matchup more or less on even footing. However, while the Eagles ride a three-game losing streak into the game, they have at least been somewhat competitive, as they most recently lost by four. Meanwhile, the Panthers are on a four-game skid and have been boat-raced in their last three outings, losing each by more than 20 points. As a result, oddsmakers favor Boston College to win, albeit by a narrow two-point margin.
To survive and advance in the tournament, the Panthers will need to step up their defensive efforts, as they have given up an average of 83 points over their last three games and dug holes for themselves that were too deep to climb out of. They’ll also need to see a better effort from their offense, as they’ve failed to score 60 points in their last two games, and the Eagles average 66.4 points per game.
The good news for Pitt is that it brings more firepower into the game, with four players averaging double figures to Boston College’s three. John Hugley will also be the leading scorer and rebounder on the court, with 14.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game this season, and a big game from him could tilt the odds in Pitt’s favor, as was the case on Jan. 8, when he went off for 32 points and willed Pitt to a win.
With that said, Hugley was shut down in the rematch, and Pitt allowed Makai Ashton-Langford and DeMarr Langford to go off for a combined total of 38 points, which led to a lopsided loss on Jan. 30. And with Pitt putting on many performances similar in description to that late-January loss of late, there is a high likelihood of history repeating itself.