After a week in which Jamie Dixon’s Pitt basketball team routed Clemson and beat Maryland on the road, the Panthers received a slight bump in the AP Poll, but at 18-2, they still aren’t getting the respect they deserve on the national scene.
Undefeated teams Arizona and Syracuse remained in the top two spots in both polls for the eighth consecutive week. The rest of the AP top five sees Florida at No. 3, Wichita State at No. 4 and San Diego State at No. 5. The Gators and Aztecs cracked the top five for the first time this season.
Kansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Villanova and Michigan round out the top 10.
Other than Syracuse and Pitt, Duke is the only other ACC team that cracked the Top 25 again as the Blue Devils are one spot ahead of the Panthers, ranked No. 17. The Blue Devils pay a visit to Pitt Monday night in a big ACC clash.
A win for the Panthers will go a long way to hopefully getting national respect as countless coaches across the nation find it laughable that Pitt isn’t ranked among the NCAA’s best teams.
That list includes Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, who had nothing but respect for Dixon’s team after the Panthers beat Maryland for the second time this season.
“I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been an assistant coach and a head coach for about 26 years, and I’m telling you, that’s one of the best teams I’ve ever coached against,” Turgeon said. “How they’re ranked 20th at 18-2 is an absolute joke. I think they’re a top five team in this country, to come into this building and really control the game.”
Apparently no one else is listening.