Tom Swick, Staff Writer

Erie, Pa, February 14, 2023 – At the time of this report, the battle for the top spot in the American Coastal Conference is in tight contention; the teams tied for 1st are Pitt, Miami, and Virginia. Pitt is tied for 1st despite having a 18-7 overall record. With the other teams: Virginia and Miami, having records of 19-4 and 21-5 respectively. Virginia and Pitt have a 11-3 conference record while Miami has a 12-4 record.

Conference                                    Overall

  1. Pittsburgh Panthers                                     11-3                                                       18-7
  2. 7 Virginia Cavaliers                                      11-3                                                       19-4
  3. 15 Miami Hurricanes                                   12-4                                                       21-5
  4.    Clemson Tigers                                             10-4                                                       18-7
  5. 23 NC State Wolfpack                                 10-5                                                       20-6
  6. Wake Forest Demon Deacons                     9-6                                                        17-9
  7. Duke Blue Devils                                            8-6                                                       17-8
  8. Syracuse Orange                                             8-6                                                       15-10
  9. North Carolina Tar Heels                             8-7                                                        16-10
  10. Boston College Eagles                                   6-9                                                        12-14

Pitt’s recent game was against fellow ACC school, Florida State University. Pitt won 83-75. Pitt’s most valuable player for the game was senior guard Jamarius Burton with the stat line: 19 points 6 assists 5 rebounds with 38 minutes on the court. Another notable player for Pitt was senior forward Blake Hinson who also scored 19 points. Florida State University’s best player was Sophomore Jalen Warley who had the stat line 23 points 3 assists 4 rebounds with 30 minutes on the court.

Even though Pitt is leading the conference, their team statistics is subpar. With only 74.9 points per game, 119th in country, 67.8 points against per game, 122nd in the country. The only stat Pitt breaks the top 50 is blocks per game with 4.5, 42nd in the country. Despite the below average statistics Pitt is winning. Pitt is a well-rounded team. They do not have a true “star” player. Instead, they have four key players in Jamarius Burton, Blake Hinson, Greg Elliot, and Nelly Cummings. The best of the four are Burton and Hinson who have been going back forth as Pitt’s lead scorer. Majority of Pitt’s wins have been close nail biters. With them winning in the last few minutes. This edge of keeping the game’s close has lost them games against ‘weaker’ opponents. Yet, they have also defeated ranked teams including Miami and Virginia. This puts Pitt in an interesting position, tied for 1st in the ACC conference despite having a worse overall record than the other 1st place teams.

If Pitt keeps winning, they will end up in the NCAA Tournament. But before they can compete in the NCAA Tournament, they must compete in the ACC Tournament to decide who is the ACC champions. The other two teams tied for first, Virginia and Miami, are both ranked and overall are statistically a better than Pitt; with Miami ranked 28th in points per game with 79.0 and Virginia being 10th in points against with 60.4.

The most notable game coming up is the last game of the year, Miami versus Pitt in Miami. The game tips  off March 4th at 6 pm.

Pitt’s next game is against Boston College, February 14, 2023, at 9 pm.