Jan 18, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard James Robinson (0) drives to the basket against the defense of Syracuse Orange guard Trevor Cooney (10) during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse defeated Pittsburgh 59-54. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt Panthers Men's Basketball Climbs Into Top 20 In Both National Polls

Despite falling to the No. 2 Syracuse Orange 59-54 at the Carrier Dome this past Saturday afternoon, the Pitt Panthers remain in the top 25 of both national polls.

The Panthers (16-2, 4-1 ACC) actually moved up two spots to No. 19 in the USA Today coaches’ poll after going 1-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference action last week. Pitt also ascended from No. 22 to No. 20 in the Associated Press’ weekly survey.

Last Tuesday, Pitt traveled to Georgia Tech and put on a rebounding display to win 81-74 without fourth-leading scorer Durand Johnson. Pitt then battled back and forth on the road against unbeaten Syracuse (18-0, 5-0 ACC).

Pitt lead 52-51 with under two remaining in the game. In the national spotlight, Pitt displayed a great effort and was rewarded in the NCAA polls. Pitt will have a rematch against the ACC-leading Orange at the Pete in February.

Three remaining unbeatens remain in No. 1 Arizona, No. 2 Syracuse and No. 5 Wichita State. No. 3 Michigan State and No. 4 Villanova are also in the top five. Florida, San Diego State, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Iowa round out this week’s top 10.

Aside from Syracuse and Pitt, the only other ACC school who is ranked is Duke at No. 18.

The Baylor Bears had the biggest drop from No. 12 to No. 24, whereas the Michigan Wolverines jumped from No. 32 to No. 21.

Brett is a Pitt staff writer at City of Champions. Follow him on Twitter @BJoseph21.

Tags: Pitt Panthers Pitt Panthers Basketball

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