The Pittsburgh Panthers lost by 10 points to the Marquette Golden Eagles after being blown out in the first half (Marquette took a 42 to 29 lead at the break). Pittsburgh was coming off a nice resume boosting win against the Cincinnati Bearcats, while Marquette was coming off a tough loss to the Georgetown Hoyas. Pittsburgh fought back nicely to outscore Marquette in the second half, but it didn’t fight hard enough as the Panthers’ three game winning streak was cut short.
Pittsburgh falls to fifth in the Big East, tied with Notre Dame after the Fighting Irish lost to Providence earlier on Saturday. The Panthers, barring a catastrophic meltdown, should make the NCAA tournament. Pittsburgh had beaten No. 6 Syracuse and No. 17 Cincinnati in seven days and had been hoping to raise their NCAA seeding significantly, but the loss to Marquette means that Pittsburgh will need a winning streak to jump other Big East teams in the NCAA standings. Luckily, the Panthers’ remaining schedule is fairly easy and that opportunity will present itself.
The Panthers, despite the loss, have every opportunity to win the Big East regular season title. 10 teams are at least at 7-6 in Big East play and Georgetown leads with a 9-3 record. Pittsburgh, in its last five games, plays three teams under the 7-6 Big East record. The most difficult games left on their schedule are Notre Dame on Monday and Villanova in their next to last game on the season. With a little luck, the Panthers still can win the Big East.