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Wagner Vs. Pitt: Panthers Could Face Challenge In Wagner

Pitt's last non-conference game of the season could be a slightly challenging one. The Panthers will take on 7-3 Wagner Friday night at the Pete. The Seahawks have played well this year and could put up a fight against Pitt.

Wagner has three losses, but two of them have come by a combined six points. Maybe even more impressive is the fact that they played UConn fairly closely on the road, losing by only 12. The Seahawks haven't been blown out this season and should give Pitt a pretty good game.

Part of the reason the Seahawks have had some success is because of their depth and balance. Five players average more than eight points and game so even if one or two players are taken out of the equation, there are others that can step up. But Wagner's problem isn't so much scoring as it is rebounding. The Seahawks don't have a single player averaging even five rebounds per game and Pitt should be able to take advantage of that.

Another thing to look for is that this may be Pitt's last game without starting point guard Tray Woodall. Woodall isn't a lock to return for the first Big East game against Notre Dame next week, but it is a possibility. He was playing as well as almost any point guard in the country this season before his injury and Pitt will be a much better team once he returns.

If Pitt can manage to win, the Panthers could be in for a bump up in the polls. No. 10 Marquette and No. 11 Kansas both lost on Monday and Pitt should jump over both teams with a victory.

For more on the game and Pitt basketball, check out SB Nation's Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.