No team wants to have to root for a team that is ahead of them in conference standings, however, the Pittsburgh Panthers may do just that. The Panthers sit tied for fourth in the Big East standing with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Fourth is important because the top four seeds get a double-bye for the Big East tournament. The Louisville Cardinals take on Notre Dame to finish off the season and can put the Panthers all alone in the fourth spot with a victory.
Louisville is already out of Pittsburgh’s reach, firmly tied for second place, two games ahead of the teams fighting for fourth and on the verge of winning the Big East regular season title. Louisville is playing some of the Big East’s best basketball at the moment and should defeat Notre Dame, aiding the Panthers.
Pittsburgh should finish the season on a four game winning streak after playing DePaul on the last day of the regular season. If the Panthers can get the double-bye for the Big East tournament, they will come in full of confidence and get to play against teams already tired of playing for two games. In a league as tough as the Big East, where so many teams are so close in talent level, rest becomes extremely important.
The Panthers have a much better chance of succeeding in the conference tournament if they can get the fourth seed, and Louisville may be the team that gets them there. Pittsburgh’s hard work this season may finally pay off with a double-bye.