The Pitt Panthers won Wednesday night to improve to 27-3 on the season, 14-3 in the Big East. With this win, Pitt clinched the coveted "double bye" in the Big East tournament. The top 4 seeds in the Big East tournament will get the double bye and advance to the Quarterfinals without even playing. This is a very big deal, especially when playing in the best conference in basketball. The Panthers can still finish anywhere from 1st to 3rd in the conference, depending on what happens this weekend.
The game last night at the Pete was a wild one. The first half was fairly uptempo, with Pitt outplaying Marquette. However, the Golden Eagles hit some late 3's in the 1st half to keep the game close. The Panthers went to the locker room with a 7 point lead. The 2nd half started, and it got crazy. Marquette went on a 21-5 run in only the first four minutes of the 2nd half. This turned their 7 point halftime deficit into a 9 point lead. The Panthers were not rattled, and from that point on, proceeded to shoot 16-20 from the field the rest of the way to win by 15. The Panthers "Big 3" all played well. Blair had 23 and 9 boards, Young had 18 and 8 boards, Fields had 17 and 10 assists. Gilbert Brown and Jermaine Dixon also put up double digits, and gave the Panthers a lift.
What does this all mean in terms of seeding for the tournament? I feel like Pitt has done enough to get a #1 seed for the tournament no matter what. However, UConn is coming to Pitt this Saturday in what should be another great game, just like the first time these two teams played this season. If Pitt wins that game, there is no doubt they lock up a #1 seed in the tournament, even if they lost their first Big East tournament game. If Pitt loses to UConn, they may just need to get to the Big East semi-finals or finals to get a #1 seed in the tournament. It does help that Oklahoma lost last night, and Memphis should not be considered for a #1 seed. Dickie V, and Dan Shulman, who announced last night's Pitt game were discussing where Memphis would fall in the Big East, and they were both saying Memphis would fall in the 4-5 range, or even 6-7 range in the Big East. As of right now, Pitt still has the #1 RPI in college basketball.