The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won 52-41 against the Pittsburgh Panthers Monday night in a game that broke a tie for fifth in the Big East. This win sent the Fighting Irish one game ahead of the Panthers, and half a game behind first place, tied with the Louisville Cardinals. Just like the Big 10, the Big East regular season title is going to come down to the last few weeks of the season with five or six teams still with a chance to win.
Pittsburgh took an early lead huge lead (19-6), but got crushed by the Fighting Irish on the glass, giving Notre Dame the chance to come back to make it 19-22 at halftime. Pittsburgh once again proved that it is vulnerable to good rebounding teams. This loss is a tough one for the Panthers, coming right after the loss to Marquette. However, Pittsburgh is not out of Big East title contention yet.
If Pittsburgh can play better than this to finish off the season, the Panthers still have a chance to win the Big East regular season title. The Panthers’ hardest opponent for the rest of the season is an up-and-down Villanova squad that should not be much of a challenge. Unless Pittsburgh has a bad game, the Panthers should win out – meaning that with a little luck, Pittsburgh might surprise the entire country by taking the Big East regular season title over teams like Louisville and Syracuse. The loss to Notre Dame will be rough on the Panthers, but Pittsburgh will start winning again soon.