After 15 games and plenty of schedule-related commentary, Pittsburgh has a top-50 win to its name and a record worth taking seriously in the ACC.
The Panthers led from wire-to-wire but nearly gave away a good road win at Notre Dame on Saturday, hustling out of South Bend with an 86-82 win. The Irish trailed by 18 with 10 minutes left to play before ripping off a 23-7 run that made things way too tight for Jamie Dixon’s taste. Zach Auguste and Bonzie Colson started feeling it inside and the Notre Dame offense, which is still very good despite the team’s inconsistencies, started firing on all cylinders.
Michael Young was outstanding on offense, contributing 25 points and converting on 11 of his 14 free throw attempts. Jamel Artis added 19 points, Sheldon Jeter had 18 coming off the bench and Pitt enjoyed its most efficient offensive game in ACC play at 1.37 points per possession in the win.
We’re not always used to Pitt leading the way high-powered offense, but this skilled group is averaging right around 86 points per game. We expect that number to drop as conference play continues, but if the season were to end tomorrow it would be a school record.
Since Pitt’s best wins coming into the game were against Syracuse and Georgia Tech, there has been some hesitation to label the Panthers as a legitimate threat in the ACC. Beating Notre Dame on the road gives the Panthers that first really good win to bolster their resume and take some pressure off Thursday night’s game at Louisville.