The Pittsburgh Panthers are 15 – 1 after defeating the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 80 – 65. Lamar Patterson had a 27-point night as the Panthers held off a pesky Demon Deacon squad that has pulled off upsets already this season. The win brings the Panthers to 3 – 0 in conference play and sets them up for a great year in the ACC.
Next to the Syracuse Orange, most of the preseason predicted top teams in the ACC are failing to live up to expectations. The Duke Blue Devils have lost to multiple teams already, including the ACC’s own Clemson Tigers, and then the North Carolina Tar Heels and Notre Dame Fighting Irish can’t seem to win against weaker opposition. It looks like the ACC is going to come down to Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
The Panthers would actually be undefeated if not for an unlucky loss to a hit-and-miss Cincinnati Bearcats team that has already beaten a few top teams this season. How ironic would it be if the two best teams in the ACC weren’t even members of the ACC last season?
Pittsburgh doesn’t have a majorly impressive resume, but at 15 – 1 this early in the season, and as long as they don’t lose 10 games straight or anything crazy, Jamie Dixon’s team should already be a lock for the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Expect big things from the Panthers moving forward and an extremely close game against Syracuse on Jan. 18. Pittsburgh is an extremely dangerous team with talent all over the floor that will be a tough matchup for any team it plays down the stretch.