Connect with us

Pitt Basketball

Five Things to Know Before Pitt Vs. Duke: Spread, TV Info, More



Guillermo Diaz Graham and Nike Sibande box out for a rebound during Pitt's ACC Tournament game vs. Georgia Tech in Greensboro, N.C. on March 8, 2023. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Pitt will take on Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday afternoon in front of a Blue-Devil heavy crowd in Greensboro.

Here are five things to know ahead of the highly-anticipated matchup.


Pitt head coach Jeff Capel and Duke head coach Jon Scheyer spent five years together sharing the bench as assistant coaches for the Blue Devils under Mike Krzyzewski.

Both Capel and Scheyer played for Duke and coached for Duke. Capel played in 129 games in the Duke uniform from 1993-97, while Scheyer played in 144 games from 2006-10, winning a national title in his senior season.

13 March 2015: Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski (center) with assistant coaches Jeff Capel (left) and Jon Scheyer (right). The Notre Dame Fighting Irish played the Duke University Blue Devils in an NCAA Division I Men’s basketball game at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina in the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game. Notre Dame won the game 74-64.

“Well, Jon has done a heck of a job, and I’m not surprised,” Capel said about his former colleague’s job as the new head coach of Duke. “When he joined the staff at Duke, I could see right away — and I knew Jon. I had met him, but I didn’t really know him. I could see right away why he was a really good player, because he had a great feel. You could see he had a great feel for the game but also a really good feel for people. I think we worked together for I think it was five years, and you just saw him become more confident and to grow and to get better. He’s a guy that wants to be really good. He’s passionate about what he does.”

Scheyer has led the Blue Devils to a 23-8 record, going 14-6 in ACC play so far. Duke is one of the hottest teams in the country at the moment, having won six games in a row.

“When you look at the circumstances, you’re taking over for — look, I think he’s the greatest coach ever,” Capel continued about Duke. “There’s no more pressure than that. I think he’s handled everything in an unbelievable fashion. Those guys have gotten better. There’s a lot of expectations and pressure on Jon, on the guys in that program, and I think he and his staff have done a really good job of managing that, managing expectations and helping them just get better week by week.”


In Pitt’s lone matchup against the Blue Devils earlier this year, the Panthers were killed on the glass.

Duke overpowered Pitt to the tune of 51 rebounds, including 24 offensive rebounds, while the Panthers grabbed only 28 total boards. Duke’s Kyle Filipowski had 15 rebounds, Ryan Young had 10, and Mark Mitchell grabbed nine in the Blue Devils’ inside dominance.

For Pitt, Jamarius Burton led the way in that game with 16 points, while Nike Sibande followed with 11 and Blake Hinson 10.

“I think some things that we’ve gotten better since that matchup is just understanding switch attacks a little bit better, understanding defensive schemes, and understanding where to attack,” Burton said. “I feel like that first time playing against them, we were just getting our feet wet in that area, and ever since then we’ve been able to grow and get better as a team.


On Wednesday, Pitt took down Georgia Tech in the second round of the ACC Tournament behind big days from Burton, Federiko Federiko, and Greg Elliott.

The Panthers flexed their muscles inside throughout the first half, finding Federiko under the basket and playing to Burton’s skill set in the mid-range game.

In the second, Greg Elliott came alive and hit two huge threes for the Panthers to start the outside attack. Blake Hinson hit a dagger of a three as well, and Burton continued to play physically inside as Pitt took down the Yellow Jackets in a high-scoring battle.


The spread for Thursday afternoon’s game is set at Duke (-6), per Action Network. Pitt’s moneyline odds are currently at +210 and the over/under is hovering around 138.5.

Pitt has covered the spread in each of its last two games, and owns the second-best record against the spread in the entire country, second only to Utah Valley State. The Panthers are 22-9-1 against the spread this year, while Duke is 12-19 ATS.


Pitt’s game against Duke will tip off at 2:30 p.m. live on ESPN2 and 93.7 The Fan back in Pittsburgh.

The 5-seed Panthers and the 4-seed Blue Devils are playing in the second game of the day in Greensboro, after Miami faces off against Wake Forest to open the action.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get PSN in your inbox!

Enter your email and get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Like Pittsburgh Sports Now on Facebook!
Send this to a friend