NEW YORK — The long, regional nightmare is over.
Pitt men’s basketball completed its hellish 2017-18 season with an 67-64 loss to to Notre Dame in the first round of the ACC Tournament at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday afternoon.
Following an 0-18 regular season in conference play, the Panthers showed a surprising amount of life in the tournament against the Fighting Irish. They closed what had been a 12-point halftime deficit all the way to two points in the final moments of the game.
Pitt had several chances to gain a late draw or even a lead, getting a ton of defensive stops as the Irish shot 16.7 percent in the second half, but came up one basket short of a comeback.
The final nail came when Marcus Carr was called for a foul while boxing out Notre Dame star Bonzie Colson with 22.3 seconds remaining. Colson made both free throws to give the Irish a two-possession lead.
Pitt’s offense has been propelled by the 3-point shot all season, but it failed the Panthers on Tuesday. Pitt shot 9-33 for 27.3 percent from beyond the arc, well below their season shooting percentage. The Panthers were also an uncharacteristic 7-11 (63.6 percent) from the free-throw line.
Carr and Jared-Wilson Frame each had 18 points to lead the Panthers. Parker Stewart had 14. Carr, Terrell Brown and Kene Chukuwka all fouled out, the latter two relatively early in the second half, leaving Pitt without an interior presence.
Colson led all scorers with 19 points. Notre Dame will advance to play Virginia Tech in the second round on Wednesday. Pitt’s season ends with a final record of 8-25.