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Pitt Basketball

Five Things to Know Before Pitt vs. Boston College



The Panthers have won five games in a row since losing to Florida State by seven points at home on Jan. 21 and made their second chance at the Seminoles count. Pitt defeated FSU 73-75 Saturday and is 7-3 in its last 10 games. The team returns home late Tuesday night facing Boston College.

Here are five things to know ahead of the Pitt’s (18-7, 11-3 ACC) matchup against the Boston College Eagles (12-14, 6-9 ACC). 

Lack of Love in AP Poll

The Panthers are not feeling the love from AP voters this Valentine’s Day. In the latest AP Poll released Monday, Pitt earned 82 total votes, slotted No. 29 and out of the prestigious Top 25. Virginia  (No. 7, 1,212 points), Miami (No. 15, 693 points), and NC State (No. 23, 140 points) ranked higher than the Panthers. No other ACC team received a vote.

“I’m sure if it were to happen, there would be people that were excited about it, that are excited about it,” head coach Jeff Capel said Monday. “I’m sure it would be a cool thing, but it’s February 13th. We have a lot of season left.”

Teams slated at and between 20-25 were UConn (358), San Diego State (271), TCU (204), NC State, Providence (136), and Florida Atlantic (117) to close the Top 25. The Panthers have not been ranked since the 2015-16 season. Led by Jamie Dixon, Pitt placed as high as No. 20. It was also the last time Pitt clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament, losing 47-43 to Wisconsin. 

Reaching Records

Capel’s team remains on a path to becoming the most successful ACC team in Panther history. Pitt tied its ACC win total (11) over the weekend and has a chance to break the mark set by the first Panther conference team in 2013-14. The team also reached its longest winning streak in ACC play, winning their last five matchups. 

Guard Nelly Cummings did not play the final 12 minutes against the Seminoles with an injury. The Panthers have depended on experienced players and veteran leaders to maintain first place.

He’ll play for sure,” Capel said. “Look, this time of year, everyone is a little bit banged up. Everybody. And so, we didn’t really do much yesterday, we just kind of walked through some things yesterday… He’ll be able to play, but I don’t know if he’ll be — he certainly won’t be 100 percent.”

Eagles Lacking Flight

Boston College sits alongside Pitt’s last opponent in the ACC Standings. Florida State and BC are both tied for 10th in conference play at 6-9 overall. The Eagles were grounded by NC State, 92-62, at home on Saturday and are 3-3 in their last six. BC defeated Louisville, lost at Virginia, then defeated Clemson, lost hosting Syracuse, beat Virginia Tech, then fell to NC State. 

The team ranks second to last in points per game (66.3) and 13th in field-goal percentage (43.3%). Boston College is tied with North Carolina for dead last in three-point shooting (30.6%). Pitt sits fourth in the conference in rebounds (37.2), four higher than BC (33). The Eagles don’t take care of the ball particularly well either, turning it over at an average of 12.2 turnovers a game and owning a 1.02 assist/turnover ratio. 

BC’s highest scorer in ACC play, Makai Ashton-Langford, ranks 34th in the conference in total points (12.4) and shoots 40% from the floor. Guard Jaeden Zackery averages a flat 10 points, slots just below Greg Elliott (10.9) and Nelly Cummings (10.5). 

Spread, Over/Under

Pitt is favored by 9 points in Saturday’s latest odds, according to DraftKings Sportsbook

The Panthers are 18-6-1 ATS this year, according to Pitt is by far the ACC’s best team covering the spread and covered the last four games against Miami, North Carolina, Louisville, and Florida State. The Eagles are 11-15 ATS and the over has been reached in 16 of 26 opportunities. 

The over/under for the game is set at 139 points. Pitt is -435 on the money line while Boston College sits at +350. The Panthers are 14-10 in opportunities to hit the over. 

Broadcast, Radio Info

The Pitt-Boston College matchup will air on the ACC Network beginning at 9 p.m. Jay Alter and Malcolm Huckaby have the call from the Pete. The game will also be broadcast live on sports radio 93.7 The Fan.

Pitt faces Virginia Tech in Blacksburg Saturday at 5 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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