Strange week in college ball likely to move Pitt to No. 1

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In the 101 seasons Pitt has been playing basketball the Panthers have never been able to raise their right index finger and point toward the heavens.

But that will all change tomorrow thanks to a topsy-turvy week in college basketball which, in all likelihood, will leave Pitt alone atop the national polls with the No. 1 ranking in the country.

With the No. 1 North Carolina's loss tonight to Boston College and No. 2 Connecticut's loss to Georgetown last Monday, the undefeated Panthers likely will move up two spots to the No. 1 ranking when the Associated Press and ESPN\USA Today coaches' polls are released this afternoon. They are currently ranked No. 3 in both polls.

Pitt remained undefeated with a 70-54 victory at No. 11 Georgetown on Saturday, but it appeared unlikely that the ascension to the top would happen this week. Not when North Carolina was playing a home game against an unranked Boston College team that was a 21-point underdog.

But Boston College, formerly a member of the Big East, did Pitt a huge favor by upsetting the Tar Heels, 85-78.

Pitt has been as high as No. 2 on three occasions but never No. 1. The Panthers were No. 2 for one week in December of 1987, for two weeks in late December of 2002 and for three weeks in November and December of 2006.

Ray Fittipaldo can be reached at or 412-263-1230.


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