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Pitt Basketball

Five Things to Know Before Pitt vs. Louisville, Spread, Betting Line

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The Pitt Panthers return to the Petersen Events Center Saturday days after losing handedly to the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome.

Pitt fell 77-61 in one of the most lopsided outcomes of the year and are 4-6 spanning the past 10 games.

Here are five things to know ahead of Pitt’s (6-10, 1-4) rematch against the Louisville Cardinals (10-6, 4-2).  

Last Time Out

The Panthers took Louisville down to the wire at the KFC Yum! Center on Jan. 5 in a 75-72 defeat. The Cardinals entered as 12.5 point favorites only to win in the final moments. Pitt played tough the entire way and was boosted by Ithiel Horton’s 13 points. It marked Horton’s first and possibly last game of the season after he was once again suspended by the program due to charges being refiled.

Jamarius Burton scored a game-high 21 points and had an opportunity to tie it at the end of regulation. Louisville limited John Hugley to 11 points and seven rebounds as the Cardinals and Panthers tied overall on the glass. El Ellis paced Louisville with 18 points off the bench including 6-10 from the floor.

The game showed the Panthers ability to stick around with quality opponents. Pitt battled their way to another heart-wrenching defeat, but back at home and an increased confidence level against their opponent could lead to the team’s second ACC victory. 

The Oakland Zoo

The Petersen Events Center has not been a friendly confines for Pitt in terms of energy, but accounts for five of the Panthers six victories. 

Getting the Oakland Zoo involved early for Pitt students and other fans involved can help spark the Panthers’ adrenaline levels to push over the top for an upset win.

We’ve seen past instances where the crowd had wreaked havoc on opposing teams and a better than average crowd relative to this season could make a difference. 

Pitt needs to exhibit the toughness and physically needed to take down the Cardinals starting with Hugley down low.  It’s not how you start but how you finish and if the Panthers want to win the rematch they must keep the last matchups ending in mind.

Recapping Louisville 

Since defeating Pitt, Louisville has lost two in a row. The Cardinals dropped to Florida State 79-70 on the road and 79-63 at home against N.C. State. Giving up 79 points in each contest, Louisville lacked the defensive efforts and stops down the stretch to have a chance in the final possessions.

Louisville is 2-3 on the road and 5-5 in its last 10 games, a similar trajectory as the Panthers. One element the Cardinals have stepped up their game is rebounding. The team now ranks tied for 35th in the country totaling close to 37, now blowing away Pitt statistically after a closer margin going into the first matchup. 

Chris Mack’s team can shoot the three and is around the college average in turnovers, depending on their offense to bail out the defense on some occasions. The Cardinals move the ball around well and look for the extra pass for a more high-quality shot, once of the reasons for four ACC wins.

Ellis was inserted into the starting lineup against N.C. State and struggled with only three points but look for him to try and rediscover previous success. Noah Locke is the only player averaging double figures with 10.9 points.

Spread, Over/Under

Louisville is favored by 4.5 points on the road in Saturday morning’s latest odds.

Pitt ended last season 11-10-1 against the spread. The Panthers are 12-4 against the spread during the 2021-22 campaign. 

The over/under for the matchup against Louisville is set at 133 points and Pitt is +165 on the money line. 

Louisville has covered seven times in 16 opportunities, but only 2-7 when favored by 4.5 or more.

Broadcast, Radio Info

The Louisville and Pitt matchup will air on the ACC Network Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. Wes Durham and Dan Bonner ave the call. 

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

Pitt remains home for a rematch against Virginia Wednesday night beginning at 9 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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