There are six games left on the Pitt men’s basketball schedule as the 12-13 Panthers get set to host No. 22 Virginia Tech at Petersen Events Center on Saturday.
The Panthers have lost eight straight games after starting ACC play 2-2 with upset wins over Louisville and Florida State.
Those wins has folks talking about Pitt as a potential NCAA Tournament team. But as March nears, Pitt finds itself looking like a long shot to even earn an NIT bid.
The worst teams invited to the 2018 field were 17-15 Temple and 17-14 LSU. Boston College made it out of the ACC at 19-15 overall and 7-11 in conference play.
Pitt is 2-10 in the ACC, and would need a serious change of fortunes in order to establish a postseason-worthy record.
That’s going to be tough with the Hokies on Saturday and another sure-fire ranked opponent coming up when Pitt visits Virginia on March 2.
Pitt’s other four remaining games seem winnable, as Pitt will visit 11-14 (3-9) Georgia Tech and 11-13 (3-9) Miami while hosting 15-9 (5-6) Clemson and 13-11 (3-8) Notre Dame.
Four wins in six games would put the Panthers at 6-12 in conference play and 16-15 overall, just barely eligible for the postseason.
Should that path fail, the Panthers could always secure a spot by making a run in the ACC Tournament, and they could also make inroads with an upset of Virginia Tech on Saturday.
The Hokies have had a sporadic offense on the road this season, scoring 62 points at Penn State, 52 points at Georgia Tech, 47 at NC State and 51 at Clemson. Strong defense allowed Virginia Tech to go 2-2 in those games, but their inconsistent road scoring could open the door for Pitt on Saturday.
A loss won’t knock the Panthers out of contention, but a win over another ranked opponent would go a long way to securing a postseason for Jeff Capel and company this season.