Pitt wraps up its regular season on Saturday at noon, when it will take on Clemson on the road.
Here are five things to know ahead of the Panthers’ long awaited trip to face the Tigers.
After losing eight of nine games leading up until the Wake Forest game, it appeared as though Pitt had completely fallen apart and suffered another late-season skid.
However, against the Demon Deacons, Pitt snapped the losing streak which at that point had grown to five games. The Panthers took down Wake Forest by a score of 70-57, led by Nike Sibande’s season-high 23 points. Sibande has since announced that he will be staying for an extra year in the program, giving Pitt fans hope that next year’s team will once again compete in the upper half of the conference.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) March 3, 2021
If the Panthers can take down Clemson, they will close out the regular season with an 11-10 record, which would be a positive sign in what has been such a roller coaster of a season.
Clemson (15-6, 9-6 ACC) has had a solid year in the ACC, sitting at sixth place in the conference heading into the game against Pitt.
The Tigers are led by Aamir Simms, a 6-foot-9 senior forward who is averaging 13.2 points and 6.3 rebounds on the season. Nick Honor and Al-Amir Dawes also carry some of the scoring load for the Tigers, averaging 8.7 and 8.6 points per game, respectively.
— Clemson Basketball (@ClemsonMBB) March 1, 2021
Clemson is 10-1 at home this season, with its only loss coming against Virginia. Heading into this game against Pitt, Clemson is coming off of a loss to Syracuse, who the Panthers took down twice earlier this season.
WHERE THEY RANK
At the moment, Clemson ranks No. 36 and No. 42 in the NCAA’s NET rankings and Kenpom.com’s rankings, respectively. The Tigers are currently projected to make the NCAA tournament, and are hovering around eight-seed territory according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.
While Pitt’s midseason downfall took them out of contention for a postseason tournament, the Panthers still rank within the top 95 teams in both Kenpom.com’s and NCAA NET’s rankings.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
In Pitt’s win against Wake Forest, the Panthers used 30 bench points to overpower the Demon Deacons. While Justin Champagnie contributed 20 points and 13 rebounds and Sibande added his 23, Pitt also received scoring help from freshman William Jeffress, who added a season-high eight.
The Panthers shot a solid 46.2% from the field to go along with 40% from 3-point range, although they only attempted eight threes all game.
These guys are locked in 🔒 pic.twitter.com/5yPxIRDTdf
— Pitt Basketball (@Pitt_MBB) March 3, 2021
Pitt’s defense really stepped up to the plate en route to the victory, only allowing Wake Forest to shoot 35.8% from the field and 34.5% from downtown in the matchup.
The spread for this game is currently hovering around Clemson (-7.5) according to popular betting service BetOnline.
The over/under is set at 129, as this one is projected to be relatively low scoring.
Saturday’s contest will be televised locally on AT&T SportsNet + and will also be available nationally on the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks.