The Pittsburgh Panthers are looking to keep their luck going this St. Patrick’s day with hopes to pull another upset in March. After beating the Bulldogs in a slugfest, the Panthers are looking to build off that momentum against the Iowa State Cyclones. In this 11 vs 6 matchup, the Panthers will again have a brawl on their hands to advance.
Pitt is a five-point underdog and ESPN analytics give the Panthers only a 32.9% chance at the upset today, but in March you can always expect the unexpected. The Panthers were also underdogs against a Mississippi State team that plays a similar brand of basketball and came away with a thrilling win.
Iowa State prides itself on being one of the best defensive teams in the country coming in at 22nd in the country in scoring defense. One big difference between the two programs is their three-point defenses which could prove to be the x-factor. The Cyclones for all their defensive energy only rank 182nd nationally, something the Panthers will need to take advantage of if they are looking to survive and advance.
Iowa State is on a bit of a skid coming into this game losing 8 of their last 10 but that shouldn’t make the Panthers feel any more confident. Of those losses, only one was against a team that didn’t make the field and they were able to steal two games against the Baylor Bears in the process.
If the Panthers want to advance all eyes will be on a former member of the opposing program to help lift Pitt to the upset. Blake Hinson was a part of Iowa State but transferred after a coaching change and sitting out the COVID season with a non-medical issue. While Hinson has no hard feelings for the Cyclones, the transfer will need to make his presence felt to help guide the Panthers to the round of 32.
Use this as your game thread for today’s matchup. The game can be caught on TruTV so if you’re out at your local bar outside the Pittsburgh area to celebrate today let your bartender know to have that channel ready to go.