There is absolutely no shame in losing to teams such as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish or the Marquette Golden Eagles. That is exactly what happened to the Pittsburgh Panthers during their mini-losing streak. However, that all ended as the Panthers traveled to New York to play the St. John’s Red Storm in Madison Square Garden.
There was some thought going into the game, since the Johnnies’ NCAA Tournament backs were against the wall, and the Panthers were on a two game skid, that Pittsburgh could possibly falter to the Red Storm despite being the better team. Well, we were wrong. Even on the skid, playing with a team whose back was against the wall, the Jamie Dixon led Panthers went into a fairly raucous MSG and silenced whatever critics there might have been.
With the win the Panthers improve to 21-7 and have put themselves in even a better position to go deep in the Big East Tournament. While they are likely out of time to win the regular season championship, nothing says they can’t do damage in the conference tournament and run even further a muck than they are used to in the NCAA version.
The Panthers only have three games remaining in their regular season, two out of three against Big East bottom feeders, and then it is off to postseason glory(maybe). It will be interesting to see if Dixon makes any adjustments to his deep, 10 man rotation down the stretch. Regardless, the Panthers have secured their dancing slippers and are now ready for the month of February to be over.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone