Jan 11, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Lamar Patterson (21) drives to the basket as Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Travis McKie (30) defends during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt Basketball: Panthers Move Up In Polls, But Still Aren't Getting Enough Respect

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.

Pitt received a slight bump from No. 20 up to No. 18 in the latest AP Poll. The Panthers also jumped from 19th to 17th in the latest USA Today Coaches Poll.

Jan 25, 2014; College Park, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon reacts to play against the Maryland Terrapins as guard Cameron Wright (3) exits the court at Comcast Center. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Tags: AP Poll Jamie Dixon Pitt Panthers

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