I’ve figured it out.
I have the answer.
I know who this Pitt team is.
They’re the guy who uses a photoshopped picture of himself from 15 years ago on his Match.com profile, over-exaggerating life accomplishments and his salary to make himself appear more attractive to potential dates.
The Panthers entered the weekend as the No. 13 team on KenPom, the No. 23 team in the RPI and the No. 25 team in the AP poll. They then proceeded to scor 62 points in a double-overtime win over Virginia Tech at home, which came days after they scored 59 points in an overtime win against Miami. That came on the heels of a two-game losing streak where the Panthers fell at home to Duke and Virginia.
Their efficiency profile makes the Panthers look like a top 25 team, but when you see this team in person, it’s hard to take that assertion seriously. On Saturday, Lamar Patterson finished with five points on 1-for-9 shooting, four turnovers and four airballs as he dealt with a thumb injury that was clearly affecting his ability to shoot as much as it disrupted his confidence. As a result, the Panther’s offense looked downright atrocious at times, and the fact that they gave up 17 offensive rebounds to the Hokies didn’t help, either.
It’s easy to blame the injury for that, and it would be wrong to say that it played no role. But this wasn’t the first time Pitt’s offensive struggled, and Patterson was awesome against Miami, when the Hurricanes took them to overtime.
In fact, when you looked at the Panthers’ body of work, it’s more surprising that they were able to climb as high in the polls as they did than anything. Pitt’s best win this season came against a Stanford team that is still very much on the NCAA tournament bubble, which means that if the season ended today, there is no guarantee that Jamie Dixon’s club would own a win over a team destined for the Big Dance.
Next week, Pitt plays Syracuse at home and at UNC. We’re at a point where an 0-2 week from the Panthers could legitimately put Pitt into the NIT even if they finish the season with six losses.
Think about that.
“But their profile looked so good on KenPom!”
Pitt efficiency-catfished all of us.