Pitt endured an awful half and rallied to send today’s game into overtime. But in the end, they couldn’t do enough in losing to Louisville on Sunday, 62-59.
For the past several weeks, I’ve mentioned how much the offense is struggling. It’s hard to sell an idea when the team is winning, but after today’s disaster, it’s clear there should be legitimate concern. The Panthers have lost two of their past three games and have been held under 60 points for the third time in the past five.
Pitt shot 33% in the first half and started the game hitting only three of their first 17 shots. There was even a stretch of more than ten minutes without a field goal.
Brad Wanamaker may have been the hero and the goat in this one. He hit a few late shots to get Pitt back into the game, but his failure to shoot a three-point shot near the end of overtime (instead passing to Gilbert Brown, who missed a layup) was one of the ‘plays of the game.’ Gil’s missed shot led to a fast-break layup at the other end, which sealed Pitt’s fate.
This was one of the most frustrating games to endure – mostly because the Panthers, at times, looked like they could steal this game. Pitt played its worst half of the season, was down by nine points at the half, fought back to send them game to overtime, but played sloppy and lost.
This doesn’t mean the quest for a No. 1 seed is over, though. Three other top six teams fell this week and the NCAAs, right now, are wide open. Pitt still has games against South Florida and Villanova before heading to the Big East tournament. If they win those and win the regular season Big East championship, they may be able to secure that No. 1 seed.
It’s going to be incredibly interesting to see where Pitt lands in this week’s rankings. Two-loss BYU will almost assuredly jump them, but will Pitt (now with four losses) fall behind Notre Dame and Purdue? Each of those teams have five losses, but won out this week.