With Pitt's season winding down, the team heads to South Florida for its final road contest of the season. With a win in their final two games against the Bulls and Villanova Wildcats, the Panthers will clinch the regular season Big East Championship.
Any thoughts of not giving 100 percent against one of the league's worst teams should be out the window. South Florida played Pitt tightly a few weeks ago at the Pete, and while Pitt pulled away for a 12-point win, the game was close throughout.
And while USF hasn't had a very good season (okay, it's been awful), they have been in their fair share of games. The Bulls took No. 3 BYU to double overtime early in the season and only lost by two. They've also had some excruciating losses in conference games on the road against UConn (overtime loss by five) and at home against Marquette (one-point loss) and Georgetown (six-point loss). South Florida has given some teams trouble this season and it's conceivable that the Bulls could give Pitt a pretty good game at home.
Pitt's offense really needs to get back on track. The Panthers have struggled their way through several first halves lately and against Louisville on Sunday, scored a meager 22 points in the first 20 minutes. Pitt fought back, but also couldn't find the basket in overtime as they were held without a field goal for the entire five-minute period.
On the surface, it might seem that Pitt could look past this game, but I just don't see it. The Panthers were challenged the first time around, and Jamie Dixon and the rest of the coaching staff will be reminding the players of South Florida's close losses to other quality teams. After a bad effort against Louisville, I expect the team to come out firing in this game, getting pumped up for the big finale over the weekend against Villanova.