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UNC HC Says Pitt Deserves NCAA Tournament Bid

North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis had high praise for the Pitt Panthers after their matchup in the ACC Tournament.

WASHINGTON, DC -- Despite their loss, the Pitt Panthers gained the respect and support of North Carolina after the two sides battled it out down the wire of their matchup in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Friday. 

Tar Heels head coach Hubert Davis, when told Pitt's NCAA Tournament status is now up in the air, brushed off the notion that it could potentially miss out on the Big Dance and stated that he believes the Panthers have definitively earned a spot in the field. 

"Just personally, that just doesn't make sense at all," Davis said. "I don't care what metric, whatever you look at. There's no way that you can look at this game and look at Pitt and not say it's definitively an NCAA Tournament team, and not just an NCAA Tournament team, a team that could go far in the tournament."

The Panthers' resume is one of a tournament team on several fronts, from their seven road wins over power conference opponents to their No. 40 position in the NET rankings and their four Quad 1 victories. 

For as much as its non-conference scheduling may or may not hold it back in the eyes of the selection committee, it's worth noting that Pitt also holds a 12-4 record over its last 16 games in addition to parlaying a 1-5 start in ACC play into a top-four placement while, by many accounts, passing the ever so controversial "eye test" along the way. 

Davis is a proponent of those factors, going out of his way to complement the job Jeff Capel has done this season while also praising the overall make-up and competitive spirit of the team. 

"Extremely well-coached," Davis said. "Coach Capel does a fantastic job. The players that they have on there, not only are they big-time college players, they've got future NBA players over there, and they play together as a team. They gave us everything tonight, and for us to come away with the win, we're very fortunate."

The Panthers remained in ESPN's Joe Lunardi's First Four Out as the third team within that grouping following their loss. Selection Sunday is gearing up to be a stressful experience for Pitt for a second year in a row, but there are some who believe it has accomplished enough to feel secure. 

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