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By The Numbers: What Does Pitt Have to Do to Make the NCAA Tournament?

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Pitt currently stands at 12-6 (5-2 ACC) with NCAA Tournament aspirations in year five of the Jeff Capel era.

As the season rolls along, Pitt fans and national analysts are wondering: What will it take for the Panthers to make the Tournament?

The Panthers are currently 12-6 (5-2 ACC). They have 13 games remaining. They have 20 total ACC games this year and 11 non-conference games (Pitt went 7-4 in non-conference games).

Now, we can’t forget about Pitt’s wins (some good) and losses (some very bad) in the non-conference slate. There are more factors that go into determining an NCAA Tournament team than conference performance. But let’s look at the recent history of the ACC to see just how the conference’s teams have fared.

WORST CONFERENCE RECORDS TO MAKE IT

8-10 (.444)

2017-18 Syracuse made the Tournament after going 8-10 in conference play.

9-9 (.500)

2017-18 Florida State and 2016-17 Wake Forest both went 9-9 in conference play and earned bids to the NCAA Tournament.

10-8 (.556)

2018-19 Syracuse, 2018-19 Louisville, 2016-17 Miami and 2016-17 Virginia Tech all went 10-8 in ACC play and earned bids to the NCAA Tournament.

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2021-22 Wake Forest was 25-10 (13-7 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

2021-22 Virginia was 19-13 (12-8 ACC) and won one game in the ACC Tournament heading into selection Sunday. The Cavaliers made the NIT. 

2020-21 Louisville went 13-7 (8-5 ACC) and did not make the tournament. It turned down an NIT invite.

2018-19 Clemson went 20-14 (9-9 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

2018-19 NC State went 24-12 (9-9 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

2017-18 Louisville went 22-14 (9-9 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

2016-17 Syracuse was 19-15 (10-8 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

FIRST FOUR TEAMS (Barely Made It In)

2021-22 No. 11 Notre Dame was 22-10 (15-5 ACC) entering selection Sunday. The Irish lost its first game in the ACC Tournament and made the First Four play-in game.

2017-18 No. 11 Syracuse was 20-13 (8-10 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game before earning an 11 seed and playing in the First Four play-in game.

2016-17: No. 11 Wake Forest was 19-13 (9-9 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game heading into Selection Sunday. The Demon Deacons played in the First Four play-in game.

SO IF PITT CAN FINISH THE SEASON…

11-9 ACC (18-13 overall), it will be a close call and may depend on how many wins Pitt earns in the ACC Tournament.

12-8 ACC (19-12 overall), it will be a close call, but Pitt will have a good chance at making the tournament. Only twice in the past five tournaments has this winning percentage resulted in a non-tournament team: 2021-22 Virginia and 2021-22 Wake Forest.

13-7 ACC (20-11 overall), it will have a good chance at making the tournament. Only once in the past five tournaments has this winning percentage resulted in a non-tournament team: 2021-22 Wake Forest who only had one Quad One win).

14-6 ACC (21-10 overall), it will have a good chance at making the tournament.

Let’s back these numbers up with some recent statistics regarding the ACC and which teams from the conference have and have not made it in over the past five tournaments.

View the entire breakdown of the ACC’s success making the past five NCAA Tournaments below.

2021-22 Field

No. 11 Notre Dame was 22-10 (15-5 ACC) entering selection Sunday. The Irish lost its first game in the ACC Tournament (made the First Four play-in game).

No. 2 Duke went 28-6 (16-4 ACC).

No. 8 North Carolina went 24-9 (15-5 ACC).

No. 11 Virginia Tech was 23-12 (11-9 ACC) and went 4-0 in the ACC Tournament, winning the Tournament and receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

No. 10 Miami was 23-10 (14-6 ACC) entering Selection Sunday.

WHICH TEAMS GOT CLOSE BUT DIDN’T MAKE IT:

Wake Forest was 25-10 (13-7 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

Virginia was 19-13 (12-8 ACC) and won one game in the ACC Tournament heading into selection Sunday. The Cavaliers made the NIT. 

Florida State finished 17-14 (10-10 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

2020-21 Field:

*COVID-Altered Regular Season Length

No. 4 Virginia was 18-6 (13-4 ACC)and won its first-round game in the ACC Tournament (before its second ACC Tourney Game was canceled) heading into Selection Sunday.

No. 4 Florida State was 16-6 (11-4 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game before being eliminated by GT.

No. 8 North Carolina was 18-10 (10-6 ACC) and won its first two ACC Tournament games before falling to FSU.

No. 10 Virginia Tech was 15-5 (9-4 ACC) and lost its first game in the ACC Tournament.

No. 9 Georgia Tech was 17-8 (11-6 ACC) and won the ACC Tournament heading into selection Sunday. The Yellow Jackets had an automatic bid to the NCAA Tourney.

No. 11 Syracuse was 16-9 (9-7 ACC) and won its first game in the ACC Tournament heading into Selection Sunday.

No. 7 Clemson was 16-7 (10-6 ACC) and lost its first ACC Tournament game heading into selection Sunday.

WHICH TEAMS GOT CLOSE BUT DIDN’T MAKE IT?

Louisville went 13-7 (8-5 ACC) and did not make the tournament. It turned down an NIT invite.

NC State went 14-11 (9-8 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

Duke went 13-11 (9-9 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

2019-20 Field (Tournament Cancelled due to COVID):

There was no bracket released this year.

2018-19 Field:

No. 1 Duke was 29-5 (14-4 ACC) and won all three of its ACC Tournament games (ACC Tournament Champion), receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

No. 1 Virginia was 29-3 (16-2 ACC) and won its first game in the ACC Tournament before being knocked out.

No. 1 North Carolina was 27-6 (16-2 ACC) and won its first game in the ACC Tournament before being eliminated by Duke.

No. 4 Virginia Tech was 24-8 (12-6 ACC) and won its first game in the ACC Tournament before being eliminated by Florida State.

No. 7 Louisville was 20-13 (10-8 ACC) and won its first game of the ACC Tournament before being eliminated.

No. 8 Syracuse was 20-13 (10-8 ACC) and won its first game in the ACC Tournament before being eliminated.

No. 4 Florida State was 27-7 (13-5 ACC) and won its first two games in the ACC Tournament before falling to Duke in the championship.

WHICH TEAMS GOT CLOSE BUT DIDN’T MAKE IT?

Clemson went 20-14 (9-9 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

NC State went 24-12 (9-9 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

2017-18 Field

No. 1 Virginia was 31-2 (17-1 ACC) and went 3-0 to win the ACC Tournament entering Selection Sunday.

No. 2 Duke was 26-7 (13-5 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game before being eliminated by UNC in the Semifinals.

No. 2 North Carolina was 25-10 (11-7 ACC) and won its first three games in the ACC Tournament before being knocked out by Virginia.

No. 5 Clemson was 23-9 (11-7 ACC) and won its first ACC game before being knocked out by Virginia.

No. 6 Miami was 22-9 (11-7 ACC) and lost its first game in the ACC Tournament heading into Selection Sunday.

No. 8 Virginia Tech was 21-11 (10-8 ACC) and lost its first game in the ACC Tournament heading into Selection Sunday.

No. 9 NC State was 21-11 (11-7 ACC) and lost its first ACC Tournament game to Boston College.

No. 9 Florida State was 20-11 (9-9 ACC) and lost its first game in the ACC Tournament heading into Selection Sunday.

No. 11 Syracuse was 20-13 (8-10 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game before earning an 11 seed and playing in the First Four play-in game.

WHICH TEAMS GOT CLOSE BUT DIDN’T MAKE IT?

Louisville went 22-14 (9-9 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

2016-17 Field

No. 1 North Carolina was 27-7 (14-4 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game.

No. 2 Duke was 27-8 (11-7 ACC) and went 4-0 in the ACC Tournament, winning the tournament and receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

No. 2 Louisville was 24-8 (12-6 ACC) and lost its first ACC Tournament game.

No. 3 Florida State was 25-8 (12-6 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game before being eliminated.

No. 5 Notre Dame was 25-9 (12-6 ACC) and won its first two ACC Tournament games before being knocked out in the championship.

No. 8 Miami was 21-11 (10-8 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game before being eliminated.

No. 11 Wake Forest was 19-13 (9-9 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game heading into Selection Sunday. The Demon Deacons played in the First Four play-in game.

No. 9 Virginia Tech was 22-10 (10-8 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game heading into Selection Sunday.

No. 5 Virginia was 22-10 (11-8 ACC) and won its first ACC Tournament game heading into Selection Sunday.

WHICH TEAMS GOT CLOSE BUT DIDN’T MAKE IT?

Syracuse was 19-15 (10-8 ACC) and did not make the tournament.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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RonDon
RonDon
18 days ago

I think they mostly need to avoid bad losses. Their schedule has 7 games that I would consider bad losses, some worse than others. I didn’t count VT bc I feel like they’re better than their ACC record so far. Winning those 7 games would get them to 19 wins. Even if they only win 2 out of the other games, they would get 21 wins and an opportunity for more in the ACC tourney. I feel like that would set them up pretty well at that point. 20 plus wins and a good winning record in the ACC typically… Read more »

Pittband
Pittband
18 days ago

1st, that was a lot of work. Well done. 2nd can’t we just enjoy the season as it unfolds? After the disaster Barnes/can’t remember his name, it’s just enjoyable to see good basketball again. Seen good, average and bad over 52-years. I’ll take good. Billy, Charles, Jerome, Demetrius and all the others since can be proud of this team.
Demetrius Gore was a favorite until Paul Evans ruined him by playing him on a bad ankle.

Cignetti & Friends
Cignetti & Friends
17 days ago

About halfway thru….was enough for me. Some of the selection process is obviously sports politics….as one saw with two top ACC teams last year, Wake being totally disrespected even though they went 13-7 in the conf and then ND going 15-5 and being put in the ‘play-in’ game. The selection committee would never do that to say Big10 teams with those type in conference records.

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