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Pitt Basketball

Five Things to Know Before Pitt at Louisville, Spread, Betting Line

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After Pitt’s matchup against Virginia Tech was canceled on New Year’s Day, the Panthers received a week off before taking on Louisville Wednesday night in Kentucky. 

Pitt has become a battle-tested team dealing with adversity in the final moments of virtually every game since the beginning of November. The Panthers lost to Notre Dame in their final game of 2021 on December 28 and are still looking for their first ACC win.

Here are five things to know ahead of Pitt’s (5-7, 0-2) third ACC game against the Louisville Cardinals (9-4, 3-0).  

On the Board

Pitt is looking to get on the board with its first ACC win after another nail biter in South Bend. Notice a trend? You’d just be ignoring it if not at this point. The loss marked the seventh-straight game decided by only four points or less.

The cardiac kids, if you will, are heavy underdogs Wednesday but have still performed well when doubted. The Panthers continue to show fight and passion for basketball, grinding out possessions and knowing how to bring it down to the wire as well.

Working on the boards might be the most critical aspect of the night. Louisville rebounds at a better clip than Pitt, something the Panthers are used to controlling at the opening tip and will now face another obstacle they can’t fall back on. Winning against Louisville would likely jumpstart a run of wins and increased confidence. 

Impact of Horton 

Stunning but exciting news surfaced for the Panthers on December 30 as Ithiel Horton was reinstated to the program with all charges being brought against him dropped. It’s a happy new year for Pitt’s leading returning scorer from a season ago who has missed all 13 games.

Horton averaged close to nine points and was lights out from behind the arc at 43%, an area Pitt needs to put an emphasis on. The 6’3” guard provides a starting-type player for head coach Jeff Capel aiming to show progress in the programs rebuild. 

It would be overbearing to believe Horton will step back onto the floor and make a greater impact than anyone else these next two to three games due to the suspension and lack of team drills. His presence will be felt, though, whenever his time comes probably sooner than later.

In the Cards: The Louisville Report

The Cardinals sit atop the ACC standings with an unblemished 3-0 record to start conference play. Louisville defeated N.C. State, Wake Forest, and Georgia Tech all by slim margins of five or fewer. 

Led by head coach Chris Mack, Louisville is in prime position to become leaders of the pack in a relatively weak ACC. It’s rare that the conference lacks premiere tournament teams like this season, the Cardinals stand out for their rebounding and defensive abilities. 

Louisville is tied for 28th-best in the country in rebounding with a tick over 37-per-game and also collects almost the same number of boards on the offensive glass as Pitt. The Cardinals own a 93.7 defensive rating, 82nd among teams, and is 5-2 at the KFC Yum! Center this year. 

Malik Williams is an explosive and dynamic threat the Panthers will look to neutralize as the fifth year forward recorded a double-double with a team-high 20 points and 10 rebounds in the three-point win over Georgia Tech. He is averaging 10.8 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Cardinals. 

Spread, Over/Under

Louisville is favored by a considerable 12.5 points at home in Tuesday morning’s latest odds.

Pitt ended last season 11-10-1 against the spread. The Panthers have covered 10 times in 13 opportunities and have been especially solid the past 6-8 games.

The over/under for the matchup against Louisville is set at 129 points and Pitt is +570 on the moneyline.

Louisville comes into the game 6-6-1 against the spread. 

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Broadcast, Radio Info

The Louisville and Pitt matchup will air on ESPNU Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Mike Couzens and Randolph Childress. 

The game can also be heard live on sports radio 93.7 The Fan.

Pitt returns home for only one game against Boston College Saturday at 2 p.m. before going to Syracuse on Tuesday.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Kurt Kerrigan
Kurt Kerrigan
8 months ago

The game starts at 7pm, not 8pm. Also the game is Wednesday, not Tuesday.

Dukes

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