It seems a stretch to say that the Pittsburgh Panthers will win the NCAA tournament, or even the Big East tournament for that matter. However, if you look at the Panthers’ losses, Pittsburgh did something very few teams have done in the country – won against the teams that they were expected to beat.
Pittsburgh is one of the few teams in the entire country that has had only one upset (to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights). Pittsburgh’s losses came to the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines, the No. 14 Cincinnati Bearcats, the No. 18 Marquette Golden Eagles (twice), No. 12 Louisville Cardinals, and the No. 20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Pittsburgh has only lost to teams that are tournament bound (except Rutgers). The Panthers either won like they were supposed to or pulled off upsets.
Pittsburgh’s mentality has to be spectacular to rarely slip up. It is nearly impossible for a team as talented as the Panthers to play hard every game, but they continue to do it game in and game out. Give huge credit to Jamie Dixon for creating a spectacular team that loves the game in one of the toughest leagues in the country. Pittsburgh seems to have hit a low point in its current two game losing streak, but this talented team will rebound.
If the Panthers continue this trend into the NCAA tournament, and, get a favorable seed, Pittsburgh has every opportunity to advance through the first few rounds of the tournament. The Panthers defeated No. 6 Syracuse and could pull major upsets in the NCAA tournament.