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Pitt Basketball

Five Things to Know Before Pitt vs. Syracuse on Senior Day



The final home game of the 2022-23 season commences at the Petersen Events Center Sunday with rival Syracuse in town on senior day. Pitt controls its own destiny in the ACC, currently a half-game out of first place behind Miami.

Here are five things to know ahead of the Pitt’s (20-8, 13-4 ACC) matchup against the Syracuse Orange  (16-12, 9-8 ACC). 

Senior Salute

Pitt will honor and celebrate the careers of Jamarius Burton, Nelly Cummings, Greg Elliott, Nike Sibande, and Aidan Fisch in front of a sold-out crowd. A class paving the way for a new era of Pitt basketball, emotions inside the Pete will be especially high. A group from multiple different locations and backgrounds, Lincoln Park graduate Nelly Cummings is ready to soak it all in. 

“The biggest difference I think for me, is, I had six people at my last senior night,” Cummings said leading up to the game. “This time, it’ll feel like, thousands. “Obviously, my family will be there, but I think thousands of people that I really know, genuinely, I’ve known for a long time here.”

Read all about Pitt senior night and senior spotlights from PSN.

Boeheim in the Building

You know the story. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim called out Pitt at the start of February, claiming Pitt “bought a team.” The Panthers have won four of their last five games since then and sit right behind the Hurricanes for first in the conference. Syracuse, on the other hand, is 2-2 since that audacious claim and 4-6 in its last 10 games. 

“This is an awful place we’re in in college basketball,” Boeheim told ESPN earlier this month. “Pittsburgh bought a team. OK, fine. My [big donor] talks about it, but he doesn’t give anyone any money. Nothing. Not one guy. Our guys make like $20,000. Wake Forest bought a team. Miami bought a team. … It’s like, ‘Really, this is where we are?’ That’s really where we are, and it’s only going to get worse.”

Jeff Capel steered clear of the topic when speaking on the matter. The Panthers defeated Syracuse 84-82 at the Carrier Dome earlier this season on Dec. 20 in a game Pitt once led by 20 points.

“I have no comment,” Capel said during his weekly ACC Coaches Call after Boeheim made those comments. “I have no reaction to it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of what they think. So I have no comment on anyone else’s opinion.”

Tale of the Tape

The Panthers are scoring 74.9 points per game while the Orange clock in one point fewer (73.9). Numbers wise, the matchup is fairly even. Pitt owns the edge in overall rebounds (37-34.8) and offensive rebounds (10.3-10) while third-best in the ACC at 76.7% from the line. 

Four Panthers average double figures in scoring, led by Jamarius Burton and Blake Hinson (15.6). Nelly Cummings and Greg Elliott also tie for the same point figure (10.9) as all four play an average of 29.9 minutes or more. Both teams turn the ball over around 11 times per game while the Orange are averaging 7.4 steals per contest. The Panthers’ free-throw total is 21st in all of college basketball. 

Judah Mintz makes his return to Pitt after decommitting from the program and selecting Syracuse for his freshman campaign. Mintz is averaging 16 points and an ACC-high 1.9 steals per game. Jesse Edwards is one of the most impactful ‘Cuse players, first in the ACC in blocks (2.8) and second in rebounds (10.2). Joseph Girard paces the team with 16.8 points.

Spread, Over/Under

Pitt is favored by 5.5 points in Saturday’s latest odds, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Panthers are 19-8-1 ATS this year, according to Pitt is by far the ACC’s best team covering the spread and the second-best in the country behind Cal State Fullerton. The Panthers, though, did not cover against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. The Orange are 14-11-3 ATS.

The over/under for the game is set at 145 points. Pitt is -230 on the moneyline while Syracuse sits at +195. The Panthers are 17-11 in opportunities to hit the over. 

Broadcast, Radio Info

The Pitt-Syracuse matchup will air on the ACC Network beginning at 5 p.m. Joel Godett 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 Notre Dame and Miami to close out the regular season next week.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Cignetti & Friends
Cignetti & Friends
22 days ago

Funny seeing Spanish guys from Spain(canary islands) wearing those T-shirts. Which in themselves is ludicrous.

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