Pitt (12-6, 5-2 ACC) landed in Louisville last night ahead of Wednesday night’s matchup against the Cardinals (2-16, 0-7 ACC).
Here are five things to know ahead of the conference matchup.
GET HOT FROM OUTSIDE AGAIN
In each of Pitt’s last two games, the Panthers have struggled to heat up from deep.
After going 6 for 22 from outside against Duke, the Panthers went just 6 of 20 against Georgia Tech despite earning the victory.
Pitt’s offense is at its best when the Panthers shooters are on. Greg Elliott had a solid game (3-for-4 3FG) against Clemson, but since has hit just 1 of his 7 attempts from deep. Alongside Elliott, Blake Hinson and Nelly Cummings have each hit 30+ threes on the year. Jamarius Burton leads the team in three-point percentage at 42%.
PANTHERS BACK ON TRACK
After dropping two-straight games against two of the ACC’s best in Clemson and Duke, Pitt got back on track in its last game with a road win over Georgia Tech.
Nike Sibande stepped up, scoring a season-best 21 points and hitting an acrobatic and-one layup late to solidify the win.
Pitt’s two leading scorers on the year, Burton and Hinson, added 19 and 13 points, respectively. As a team, Pitt hit 43% of its field goals, but could only convert on six of its 20 three-point attempts in the win.
CARDINALS STRUGGLING (BADLY)
Louisville has been having one of its worst seasons in school history under first-year head coach Kenny Payne.
The Cardinals have won just two games this season and are 0-7 in conference play so far.
Payne has received backlash this year for not adding enough backcourt talent through the transfer portal to the Cardinals, and for good reason. Outside of the team’s two leading scorers El Ellis (17+ points per game) and Mike James (9+ points per game), the Cardinals do not have any other guard playing more than ten minutes per game.
Kenny Payne would like his players to talk a little trash in games…. but there's only so much El Ellis is willing to do…. love the honesty from the Cards guard here. @WHAS11 pic.twitter.com/tlqne7B2BJ
— Kent Spencer (@WHAS11Kent) January 17, 2023
In the front court, JaeLyn Withers and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield lead the way, averaging a combined 15 points and ten rebounds per game.
Ranked at No. 281 in the country according to Kenpom, Louisville is statistically one of the worst teams in all of Division I hoops.
SPREAD, OVER/UNDER, BETTING INFO
The spread currently sits at Pitt (-9.5) with the over/under hovering around 141 points.
Pitt has covered the spread in 13 of its last 14 games.
TV, BROADCAST INFO
Wednesday’s game will tip off at 7 p.m. on ACC Network.
Pitt’s next game is on Saturday, as the Panthers will return home to take on Florida State.
The Panthers are looking to build off of their strong start to the season while not worrying about any of the outside attention that has come their way as of late.
“No, we really don’t,” Cummings said when asked if his teammates talk about the potential of Pitt making the tournament. “We really try to stay focused on our next opportunity. We can’t take anything for granted. We don’t want to look too far ahead, too far behind, we are going to just stay in the present moment.”