It was not that long ago that spirits were extremely high and talk of an ACC regular season championship was coming from the Pittsburgh Panthers faithful. Well, it only took a week for that chatter to dissipate, replaced by rumblings that the same old Panthers were back. These are the Panthers that take advantage of a favorable schedule, build a solid record and get ranked, only to see a collapse when better teams challenge them.
This has happened to Pittsburgh following home losses to Duke and Virginia. In both games, the offense was completely disorganized (36.7 percent shooting) and key players Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna did not look like their early-season selves. Pittsburgh travels to Coral Gables to face Miami Wednesday in hopes of regrouping, finding its offense and most importantly, picking up a crucial road conference win to alleviate the pain from the previous week.
Pitt is a road favorite, and Miami may just be the perfect team at the perfect time for the Panthers to face. The Hurricanes are coming off of a tough loss to Maryland in which Dez Wells scored 21 points in the second half and drained a game-winning 3-pointer. Miami also played and defeated Norfolk State this past weekend, but of course that in no way prepared it for Pittsburgh.
Another reason for Pittsburgh to break out is not being at home. The Panthers may just need to get away to clear their heads, and not hear the talk that currently surrounds the team. Pittsburgh clearly needs to pick up a victory over Miami and if the Panthers are upset, the trip back to the Steel City will be even longer.
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