Pitt has played its way off the NCAA bubble, right?

pittTwenty-four wins, 12 in the ACC. An RPI rating of 44. Pitt has nothing to worry about when it comes to Selection Sunday, does it?

“I think our team is playing its best basketball. We’ve won four out of five. We’ve now got as many wins on the road as anybody in the country. We’ve played well away from home, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity we have tomorrow,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said after his team’s 84-55 win over Wake Forest on Thursday in the ACC Tournament.

Even with the good-looking resume, Pitt wasn’t a lock heading into the ACC Tournament, having gone just 7-7 down the stretch and posting just a 1-6 record against the RPI top 50. That had to make the game with Wake a must-win game, though Dixon downplayed that talk.

“Yeah, we’re just trying to win every game like we always have,” Dixon said. “We’ve obviously done a lot of things. 24 wins and now a 12th win in the ACC. I think that goes without saying.  Our thing is we’re playing our best basketball.”

Sounds like Dixon has consulted with a PR specialist who gave him the buzz words “playing our best basketball.” Pitt has a chance to punch its Big Dance ticket with a win over North Carolina on Friday at the ACC Tournament, in addition to perhaps begin playing not just for a  bid, but for seeding.

“We’ve won close games on the road, which is what you’re going to need to do in this tournament play. And that’s really been our message going forward here,” Dixon said. “We’ve won a lot of close games. We’ve beat good teams on the road in neutral court situations, too, so and I think it’s a combination of we felt confident, we’ve played well on the road. But we had some home games where guys weren’t healthy and weren’t playing their best, and we obviously played through it, didn’t play as well, but now we are.”

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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