The Panthers return home Wednesday night to begin a critical two-game stretch against teams Pitt remains tied in conference play. Pitt hosts Wake Forest for a chance to create separation in ACC competition.
Another big ACC matchup at home.
— Pitt Basketball (@Pitt_MBB) January 25, 2023
Here are five things to know ahead of the Pitt Panthers (13-7, 6-3 ACC) matchup against the Florida State Seminoles (14-6, 6-3 ACC).
“Send it in, Jerome!”
Wednesday marks the 35th anniversary of Jerome Lane’s signature dunk on Jan. 25, 1988. Inside the Fitzgerald Field House against Providence, Lane delivered one of the most iconic slams in basketball history, shattering the backboard following a pass from Sean Miller.
𝐒𝐄𝐍𝐃 𝐈𝐓 𝐈𝐍 𝐉𝐄𝐑𝐎𝐌𝐄‼️
— Pitt Basketball (@Pitt_MBB) January 23, 2023
The Oakland Zoo is commemorating the anniversary by giving away Jerome Lane jersey shirts to the first 1,000 members of the Zoo. Lane’s dunk occurred five minutes into the game and took 30 minutes for the hoop to be replaced.
THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREATEST DUNK OF ALL TIME.
vs Wake Forest
⏰- 7PM(BE EARLY)
— Oakland Zoo (@OaklandZoo) January 25, 2023
Lane spoke to Pittsburgh Sports Now’s Dominic Campbell about what the dunk and anniversary means to him as the Panthers prepare to honor the moment.
“Everything’s just set in stone,” Lane said. “The dunk happened, the glass falling on your head, the players come knock the glass of your head, everybody’s celebrating with you. You go into the locker room, make plans about how you’re going to come back out on the court. Warm up again and get to play in that game again.”
Pickett at the Pete
Former Pitt and current Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett will be in attendance at the Wake Forest game. The Panthers welcome Pickett back on the same night they remember the greatest slam in program history.
Tonight’s @Pitt_MBB game features the attendance of the artists of two of the greatest moments in the history of Pitt Athletics.
Jerome Lane & Kenny Pickett
“The Dunk” & “The Fake Slide”
— Oakland Zoo (@OaklandZoo) January 25, 2023
KP8 guided the Panthers to becoming 2021 ACC Champions, defeating Wake Forest 45-21 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The game gave birth to one of Pickett’s and Pitt’s biggest moments of the season and in program history. “The Fake Slide” became a memorable icing on the cake play when Pickett evaded defenders on his way to the end zone. It instigated a new rule in college football where once a slide begins, the sliding player must give himself up and complete the slide.
Pickett started 12 of the 13 games he appeared in, throwing for 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He also ran for 237 yards and three touchdowns.
Demon Deacons Report
Wake Forest enters averaging the fourth-most points in ACC play (77.4) and shooting 46.7% from the field. The Demon Deacons are one of the best ACC teams in shooting the three (37.4%) and are 29th in the country in average made triples (9.2).
7-3 in their last 10, Wake Forest lost to No. 10 Virginia 76-67 to snap a four-game winning streak. Wake Forest defeated Louisville, Florida State, Boston College, and handed Clemson its first conference loss before dropping to the Cavaliers. 3-3 away from home, Wake Forest has a dominating 10-1 home record that reached the loss column against Virginia as well. Road conference losses at Clemson (77-57) on Dec. 2 and North Carolina (88-79) on Jan. 4 contribute to the team’s current state tied for third.
Guard Tyree Appleby has started all 20 games, pacing the team in points (17.9) and assists (6) while shooting 45.5% and 82.9% at the free-throw line. Cameron Hildreth (13.3), Damari Monsanto (12.7), and Andrew Carr (11.7) contribute to the offense. Monsanto tied for a game-high 25 points against Virginia.
Pitt is favored by 3 points in Wednesday’s latest odds, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Panthers are 14-5-1 ATS this year, according to Covers.com. Pitt is the ACC’s best team covering the spread by a wide margin but did not cover in the upset over Florida State. Wake Forest is 11-9 ATS and the over has been reached in 14 of 20 opportunities.
The over/under for the game is set at 148.5 points. The Panthers are -150 on the money line with the Demon Deacons at +130. The over has hit in 12 of the Panthers’ 20 games. Pitt is 8-3 overall at home straight-up this season.
Broadcast, Radio Info
The Pitt-Wake Forest matchup will air on the ACC Network beginning at 7 p.m. Mike Monaco and Seth Greenberg have the call from the Pete. The game will also be broadcast live on sports radio 93.7 The Fan.
Pitt meets Miami Saturday at 4 p.m. as the logjam in the ACC standings begins to sort itself out.