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Pitt Tabbed As Potential NCAA Tournament 'Bracket Buster'

Top seeds should watch out for the Pitt Panthers if they make the NCAA Tournament.

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Pitt Panthers are still sitting on the edge of the NCAA Tournament bubble but top seeds better hope they don't enter the field, because this team is dangerous. 

The Athletic's Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner compiled a list of underrated Power 5 teams that could pose threats to some of the higher-ranked teams in the NCAA Tournament should they make the field and Pitt was one of them. 

"Pittsburgh has already flashed serious giant-killing chops this season, beating Duke at Cameron [Indoor Stadium]," Keating and Brenner wrote. "Granted, the Blue Devils were missing two starters, but our model likes what it sees from Jeff Capel’s squad. They play slow, take a lot of threes (44.5% of shots) and rank in the nation’s top 10 in both defensive rebounding and avoiding turnovers."

TCU, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Texas Tech, Villanova, St. John's and Northwestern were also included on this list. 

That said, Brenner and Keating still believe the Panthers have work to do if they want to earn their second consecutive at-large bid to the Big Dance. 

"Mock brackets seem to think they are still on the wrong side of the bubble heading into the ACC tournament," the wrote. "But a couple of wins in Washington, D.C., could vault them into the NCAA field and hand a high seed a frustrating first-round matchup."

Unlike other ACC bubble teams like Virginia, who The Athletic bracketologist Brian Bennett said could still conceivably crack the field with a loss, Pitt needs at least one win to stay relevant in these conversations, mainly because "The Cavaliers’ performance metrics do outpace the predictive ones, which is the opposite for Pitt and should help Virginia’s case between the two."

Bennett has the Panthers tabbed as one of the Next Four Out in his latest bracket predictions, alingside Providence, Kansas State and Iowa. They are all chasing a Last Four In of Virginia, St. John's, Indiana State and Texas A&M. 

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