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Pitt C Federiko Federiko Will Not Play Against Mississippi State

The Pitt Panthers will meet Mississippi State without their starting center.

DAYTON -- The Pitt Panthers will be short a crucial piece of their starting lineup in their first NCAA Tournament in seven years against Mississippi State, the program announced prior to tip-off. 

Pitt will battle the Bulldogs to advance in the NCAA Tournament without starting center Federiko Federiko, a solid rim-runner and one of the best frontcourt defenders in the ACC this past season. Federiko has been dealing with pain in his left knee ever since the Panthers' ACC Tournament victory over Georgia Tech. He played just 12 minutes the following day against Duke and has been limited in both of the team's practices since.

This is a brutal loss for Pitt, who is facing one of the better big men in all of Division I. 6'11 Tolu Smith leads the Bulldogs in scoring (15.8 points per game) and rebounding (8.3 boards per game) and shot 58% from the field this year. 

Expect Pitt head coach Jeff Capel to turn to freshmen Jorge and Guillermo Diaz Graham for some support in the post and possibly employ some smaller lineups with Blake Hinson at the center spot. Guillermo is in the starting lineup for Federiko. 

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