ACC Basketball: Pittsburgh Panthers an NCAA Tournament Threat

Pittsburgh Panthers Basketball 2014

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Panthers have lost a lot of momentum after starting the 2013 – 14 college basketball season with a 16 – 1 record, finishing fifth in the ACC and never beating one of the top four teams in the conference. However, with a 2014 NCAA Tournament berth already considered a lock, they absolutely demolished a Wake Forest Demon Deacons team that has beaten the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels already this season.

Wake Forest just looked completely lost as they tried to compete with the much more physical Panthers. They were forced into making bad shots and didn’t distribute the ball; Pittsburgh had 20 assists to the Demon Deacons’ eight. Lamar Patterson led all scorers with 24 points, as the Panthers blew out Wake Forest 84 – 55.

Pittsburgh has proven once again they are a tale of two teams. If this team shows up in some of the Panthers’ losses this season, Pitt could be looking at a much better seed. Unfortunately, they’re going to have to play a lot better teams now.

It doesn’t matter that the Panthers haven’t been able to defeat top ACC opposition so far this season, because once they get into the 2014 NCAA Tournament it’s a whole new game. Pittsburgh has the talent and the capability of making a strong push, but they have to give the same kind of effort they showed in the Wake Forest game in every single game from now on.

Now, the question is whether they can take the momentum from the blowout over Wake Forest and defeat North Carolina in the quarterfinals of the 2014 ACC Tournament, tomorrow.

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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