Lost in all of the Paul Chryst-Wisconsin talk is that Pitt has a fairly big basketball game on Wednesday. The Panthers will take on Duquesne at the annual City Game at the Consol Energy Center downtown.
For Pitt, the game isn't always an easy one. Despite winning several contests in a row, the Panthers have been given some tough games by Duquesne recently. It's clear that the Dukes make it a point to play well against Pitt and they've done just that in three of the past five years. Last year, Pitt held only a seven-point lead late in the game before pulling away a bit and winning by 11. In 2009, Duquesne took Pitt to double overtime before the Panthers ultimately prevailed. And in 2007, when they were ranked ninth in the nation, Pitt won by only five points.
This year, the Dukes could offer a bit of a challenge as well. The team is only 4-3 but has had some tough losses. Duquesne lost to 6-2 Albany by only three points and hung with Georgetown before losing by only six. Both games were on the road and the Dukes proved they're capable of playing well against some quality teams.
Duquesne doesn't have much star power as it had in years past, but one thing the Dukes do have is depth. Three players average in double figures and ten players are averaging at least five minutes a game. Five players also average at least four rebounds per contest and plenty should see time in this game.
Pitt should win on Wednesday, but playing against its local rival, don't expect Duquesne to roll over.