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Duke sends Pitt basketball a message

Pitt basketball fans had been waiting for Duke for years.

And Monday night seemed like the best time to show the Blue Devils the Panthers were for real.

Pitt was a team ascending. Duke was having an un-Duke-like season.

Plus, the game was at the Pete.

Everything was going in the Panthers' favor.

Then they played the game.

Duke handed Pitt a 15-point loss, 80-65.

So much for this being a game Pitt would win.

I've been of the opinion for more than a month now that Pitt was a Top 25 team. They slowly made it.

They've played some good basketball.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon really added to the hype after Pitt beat them last week.
“I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been an assistant coach and a head coach for about 26 years, and I’m telling you, that’s one of the best teams I’ve ever coached agains. How they’re ranked 20th at 18-2 is an absolute joke. I think they’re a Top 5 team in this country, to come into this building and really control the game.”
Everyone really latched onto that quote.

It was colorful and Pitt fans loved hearing that. But was it an honest assessment?

Doubt it.

Coaches know how to control and interview. They know how to credit an opponent. And, after a tough loss, what's the harm in calling the team that beat you an elite team? It certainly deflects some criticism away from the coach.

We'll see how Pitt responds after this tough loss. They'll get a Virginia team that's 6-1 in the conference.

That's looking a lot tougher today than it did last week.



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