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Pitt Basketball

Five Things to Know Before Pitt vs. Georgia Tech



Pitt snapped a six-game winning streak Saturday at Virginia Tech and fell to second place in the ACC standings. The Panthers fell 79-72 in Blacksburg and are now a half-game back of Miami (22-5, 13-4 ACC) for second as Virginia (21-4, 13-3 ACC) holds sole possession of first. Pitt returns home to play the first of two games at the Petersen Events Center to close the home schedule against Georgia Tech and Syracuse. 

Here are five things to know ahead of the Pitt’s (19-8, 12-4 ACC) matchup against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-16, 3-13 ACC). 

Capel Calls Out ACC Network

Don’t try to convince Jeff Capel that the ACC is down. Conversations throughout the college basketball season, especially regarding bracketology, have focused on the success of the Big 12 and Big Ten and the lack of considerable threats in the ACC. Capel has been asked about and responded to questions concerning the state of the conference, never giving an inch to think there is a lack of competition. He challenged the ACC Network regarding its demeanor regarding the conference’s quality of play.

“I don’t think it helps when we have our own network, and there I was watching when we were at Virginia Tech,” Capel said. “The night before, I am watching our own network, and one of the first questions that comes up is, ‘Is it perception or reality that the ACC is down?’ I never see that on the Big Ten Network. I watch the Big Ten Network a lot because one of my best friends coaches in that league, and so I am watching them. And man, they are always, always pumping the Big Ten. Always. 

No. 6 Virginia and No. 13 Miami are the only ACC teams ranked in the AP Top 25 while NC State and the Panthers own the next two spots. Pitt received 34 votes entering the week, down from 82 in the Feb 13 rankings, but move up from No. 29 to No. 27. The conference won the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in its final installment. Pitt crushed likely tournament team Northwestern, 87-58.

Fouls and Threes

Virginia Tech may have provided the blueprint for slowing down the Panther offense and neutralizing their most explosive threats. Hinson and Cummings both owned four fours before 11 minutes remained in the game. Hinson eventually fouled out, while Cummings, Federiko Federiko, and Elliott all ended with four personals. 

“Foul trouble always hurts the rhythm, because certain lineups we haven’t played with, we had to play with today,” Cummings said after the game.

Virginia Tech also limited the Panthers’ success from behind the arc. Shooting just under 36% from deep on the season and averaging nine per game, Pitt shot 3-of-18 (17%) and missed six free throws (13/19). A 37.7% three-point shooter, Hinson converted 1-of-6 attempts. 

Deivon Smith Out

Winners of two in a row, Georgia Tech sits 13th in ACC play at 3-13 and struggles away from Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets are 1-8 away from home, only defeating Georgia State in the second game of the year. 

Georgia Tech will be without guard Deivon Smith Tuesday night, according to . Smith totaled a double-double with a team-best 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 11 rebounds. 

Smith has started 13 of his 24 games for the Yellow Jackets, averaging 8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. Guard Miles Kelly is the only Georgia Tech player to score over 10 points per game at 12.8 in an average of over 32 minutes.

Spread, Over/Under

Pitt  is favored by 12 points in Tuesday’s latest odds, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Panthers are 19-7-1 ATS this year, according to Pitt is by far the ACC’s best team covering the spread and the best in the country. The Panthers, though, did not cover against Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are 12-13 ATS and the over has hit only eight times.

The over/under for the game is set at 136.5 points. Pitt is -775 on the moneyline while Georgia Tech sits at +520. The Panthers are 16-11 in opportunities to hit the over. 

Broadcast, Radio Info

The Pitt-Georgia Tech matchup will air on the ACC Network beginning at 7 p.m. Anish Shroff and Jordan Cornette have the call from the Pete. The game will also be broadcast live on sports radio 93.7 The Fan.

Pitt concludes the 2022-23 home schedule Saturday against Syracuse beginning at 5 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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