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Pitt Basketball

Panthers Look to Clean Up the Glass Against ACC’s Best Rebounding Team in Duke



Jeff Capel watches 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. – The No. 5 Pitt Panthers enter the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals Thursday afternoon facing the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils in Greensboro, North Carolina. Pitt defeated No. 13 Georgia Tech, 89-81, to advance past the second round.

The meeting marks the second time Pitt and Duke battle in Carolina, previously in Durham on Jan. 11. It was a tale of two halves for both sides. Pitt was dominant in the first 20 minutes but was dominated in the final 20, especially late in the game to fall 77-69.

“It seemed like forever ago,” Capel said. “They’re really good. They’re probably the hottest team in the league. I think they’ve won six in a row. Those freshmen have grown up. Obviously, we know that they’re very, very talented. It’ll be a heck of a game. I think we’ve gotten better since we played them, too, so we’re excited about the challenge.”

The Panthers led 43-32 at halftime in large part to shooting 57% from the floor. The second half was a completely different story as the Blue Devils stomped Pitt 45-26 en route to an eight-point, come-from-behind victory. 

Duke manhandled Pitt on the glass, outrebounding the Panthers 47-25 and 20-7 on the offensive boards. The Blue Devils are the ACC’s best offensive-rebounding team (12.6), a full rebound ahead of second-place NC State (11.6). Jon Scheyer’s team out-produced Pitt in the paint (34-20) in large part to Second Team All-ACC forward Kyle Filipowski’s 28 points and 15 rebounds. 

“I think some things that we’ve gotten better since that matchup is just expectations and helping them just get better week by week,” Burton said. “They’re playing with a lot of confidence. Obviously, they’re really talented. They’ve always been talented, but they’ve grown up because they’ve taken some lumps and they’ve stayed together.”

Scheyer’s team stumbled following the Pitt win, going .500 over their next eight games. Duke has found its stride down the stretch, however, winning eight of its last 10 and defeating North Carolina twice. The Blue Devils are favored by 6.5 points with the game being broadcast on ESPN2 beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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