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BUBBLE WATCH: A Look at Results Impacting Pitt’s Tournament Chances

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Pitt Basketball

PITTSBURGH – Pitt continues to see its bubble grow wider and wider by the game. While some bubbles are beginning to burst, the Panthers have gone from NCAA Tournament longshots to putting themselves in a prime position to sneak into a second-consecutive appearance at March Madness. 

But they could still use some help. Following weeks of not even sniffing tourney discussions from bracketologists, Pitt began Saturday as one of ESPN insider Joe Lunardi’s NEXT FOUR OUT at No. 76 overall. Wake Forest sat five spots higher than Pitt as one of the FIRST FOUR OUT. Three other ACC teams, Syracuse, Florida State, and Miami, were considered. Thanks to a career-high 41 points from Blake Hinson, four points shy of tying a program record, Pitt crushed Louisville 86-59 and looks to move up in bubble consideration throughout the country. Other borderline teams around college basketball had impactful games on their calendars.

Cincinnati 76 – UCF 74

In Lunardi’s most recent bracket update before Pitt’s contest against Louisville, the Cincinnati Bearcats were slotted one spot higher than the Panthers as the more favorable cat to make the big dance. Cincinnati entered Saturday 11th in the Big 12 but grabbed a crucial victory at UCF, who entered the day with the same conference record (4-7). The deepest conference of the Power 6, Cincinnati (FIRST FOUR OUT), Kansas State (considered), and UCF (considered) were all trying to sneak into the dance before the weekend. As of now, Cincinnati has the best chance and could take a spot away from Pitt.

Wake Forest 47 – No. 21 Virginia 49 

The Demon Deacons entered action 8-5 in ACC play and 4th place in the conference, one spot higher than the Panthers. A two-game road trip hasn’t been kind to Steve Forbes and his team. Wake Forest has now lost two in a row after a 77-69 defeat at Duke and a two-point loss to the Cavaliers. The Demon Deacons entered play as one of Joe Lunardi’s FIRST FOUR OUT, but will likely see a dip in their March Madness hopes and dreams. 

Georgia Southern 80 – James Madison 87

James Madison is a sneaky threat in the Sun Belt to win the conference and automatically qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The Dukes sit in second place, one spot behind Appalachian State (21-5, 11-2 Sun Belt) in the conference standings. It’s unlikely a second Sun Belt team will make the tournament, but not out of the question and worth monitoring how the two teams close the season.

Other bubble teams, Seton Hall (FIRST FOUR OUT) plus St. John’s and Villanova (NEXT FOUR OUT) did not play on Saturday. Pitt returns to the floor against Wake Forest with substantial tournament hopes on the line Tuesday in Winston-Salem. 

Remaining notable results:

  • Providence vs. DePaul (FIRST FOUR OUT)
  • Texas A&M 75 (bubble team)  – Alabama 100
  • Duke 76 – Florida State 67 (bubble team)
  • Colorado 92 (bubble team) – USC 89 in 2 OT
  • Yale 62 – Princeton 73 (could steal a bid if not AQ)
  • California Baptist 76 – Grand Canyon (could steal a bid if not AQ) 79
  • Pacific 76 – Gonzaga (LAST FOUR IN) 102

Two games on Sunday to keep an eye on:

  • Memphis (on the bubble) at. SMU, Sunday at 4 p.m.
  • Seton Hall (FIRST FOUR OUT) at. St. John’s, Sunday at 5p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Cignetti & Friends
Cignetti & Friends
3 months ago

Just keep winning and Pitt will be in. The final 6 games are all very much winnable, with I imagine @ Wake Forest being the toughest. Will Pitt get ‘jobbed’ down there like they did in the slide call football game ?

Mark
Mark
3 months ago

They are going to pick up a quad 1 win today. NC st will be into top 75 NET tomorrow

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