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Does Pitt Need to Beat Clemson to Make NCAA Tournament? National Analysts Weigh In

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Do Pitt’s chances of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament ride on tonight’s game at Clemson?

While that might not 100% be the case, it sure seems that way.

The Panthers enter tonight’s game in Death Valley with an overall record of 18-9 and 9-7 in the ACC Conference.

On the surface, the record looks ok, but your final record isn’t going to get you a bid to the tournament. What will get you a bid are your overall metrics and where you stand in the NET rankings. Entering today’s action, Pitt is 47th in the NET, 54th in KenPom, 3-5 against Quad 1 teams and 2-2 against Quad 2 teams.

Tonight’s game is so important because Clemson is 23rd in the NET, 24th in KenPom. This would be a coveted Quad 1 win.

So, is Pitt’s postseason on the line tonight or is that a bit extreme? PSN asked that question to Mike DeCourcy from The Sporting News and Jerry Palm from CBS Sports.

“I don’t see a path for Pitt to reach the NCAA tournament, other than doing extraordinary damage in the ACC Tournament, if they don’t take out Clemson on the road,” said DeCourcy. “The three games that remain afterwards can bolster a case, but not make one. With a loss at Clemson, they would be 3-6 against Quad 1 and 5-8 against Quad 1 and 2 combined. And what’s left before the tournament would be only a single Quad 2 game. But if they win this one, the door begins to open.”

”The thing about Pitt is they have a horrible non-conference schedule,” said Palm. “It’s like bottom twenty. That’s not something you can fix, it’s just that you have to do more to overcome it.”

”They’ve shown that they can win on the road, but don’t have a great record against better teams and they have a couple Quad 3 losses. I don’t know if they’re eliminated if they don’t win at Clemson because there’s so much season left but it’s their last chance to get a win that means anything.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Rob Radich
Rob Radich
1 month ago

All of those sad little “buy” games may come back to bite them on the ass. And that is solely on Capel…………

Eli
Eli
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob Radich

I don’t think that’s the issue. They didn’t do very well against the high major teams on their non-conference schedule, which mainly just had to do with the fact that they had a lot of roster turnover and were playing two true freshmen at guard. If they had scheduled more games against tougher opponents, they’d just have a worse record now than they do currently.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

A very weak non-conference schedule has been an issue going back to Dixon.

Clemson played Winthrop, Uab, Davidson, Boise State, Alabama, TCU and Memphis in their non-conference. Not even comparable.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Dixon scheduled high ranking teams from 1 bid leagues.

Dave
Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Pitt played 4 power 5 teams in non conference . Hard to know what those teams will be when they are scheduled. Is 4 a lot less than other teams?

katuracassells@gmail.com
katuracassells@gmail.com
1 month ago

Who decides what “quad” a team is in! There are major flaws in this system. If your program finishes in the top six in the ACC, you should be in. There will be teams that make it that would have a losing season if they were in the ACC.

kmp30
kmp30
1 month ago

Thought they pushed their luck last year with the late season losses and still made it in with a 67 NET. Conference record was solid though. Worse this year but a 40s NET. … who knows. I saw in another article that Goodman said they are competing with Virginia for the 5th spot from the conference. Keep a higher NET than Virginia and get in because of the head to head? Interesting take if the committee arbitrarily decides they want 5 ACC teams. Seems like they need to win enough to get them a good enough NET where it would… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by kmp30

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