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What Pitt needs to do to get into 2023 NCAA Tournament

We go over what the Panthers need to accomplish in their conference tournament to help secure a spot in March Madness.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Panthers (21-8, 14-4 ACC) currently lead their conference standings, but remain behind several of their ACC peers in the NCAA NET rankings at 53th overall. They’ve pulled off several very close wins over some of the best teams in the ACC and are projected to be a No. 9 seed at both CBS and ESPN. They will close out their season with games against Notre Dame and Miami (FL). A win over the latter would be a huge statement ahead of the ACC tournament.

Bubble Watch

Pittsburgh is not quite on the bubble, but it will be interesting to see how they fare in the ACC tournament, as their defense has not been a strength this season. They could be pushed by a big Auburn or Memphis win, two teams on the bubble who play top teams this week.

What teams losing would help Pitt?

Teams: North Carolina, Texas Tech, Miami, Oregon

North Carolina and Miami both rank higher than Pittsburgh in the NCAA NET rankings despite having a better record. If they were to beat Miami or if UNC, a team right on the outside of the bubble, could get another loss, Pitt would move up in the NET rankings and solidify a top seed in the ACC Tournament. Oregon and Texas Tech are just a few spots ahead of Pitt in the NCAA NET rankings, and would help bump them forward with a loss.

Will Pitt get in?

Pittsburgh has a shot to finish off the season strong against one of the best teams in the ACC, but with a weak defense, their tournament run may sputter out early. However, Pitt isn’t quite on the bubble right now, so they have some leeway to lean on in the coming weeks.

Verdict: If Pitt can hold out for a couple of rounds in the tournament or grab a win over Miami, they should be able to qualify for the tournament.