Pittsburgh Panthers' Hot Start Will Lead to Success in the ACC

By Trevor Lowry
Pittsburgh Panthers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Panthers have gotten off to a very good start in the 2013-14 college basketball season and this hot start will lead to success in the ACC.

The Panthers are already 11-1, with their only loss coming against Cincinnati by one point. Their key win came against Stanford.

Pittsburgh has not played a ranked opponent yet, so I am sure there are plenty of people who think their good start is a result of an easy non-conference schedule.

With that in mind, players like Lamar Patterson have been great. He is currently averaging 17.1 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game and 4.6 assists per game. He is also shooting 52.7 percent from the field and 45.3 percent from behind the arc. Patterson should be getting a lot more buzz, but I am sure he will get his credit once conference play starts.

Teams like SyracuseNorth Carolina and Duke are in the headlines a lot more than Pittsburgh, but the Panthers have the talent to make a lot of noise.

Their ACC schedule will be much tougher than their non-conference schedule. The ACC is one of the deepest conferences in the nation. Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining the conference this season really helped with that.

Still, Pittsburgh is nowhere near as talented as the top dogs in this conference, but that does not mean it is going to get beat by every single team and miss out on the NCAA tournament.

I could easily see the Panthers finishing in the top five of the standings, which would result in a tournament bid.

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