Feb 8, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Josh Newkirk (13) and guard James Robinson (0) celebrate as they leave the court after defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies in double overtime at the Petersen Events Center. Pittsburgh won 62-57 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt Basketball: Panthers Hang In Both National Polls Despite Struggles

What seemed like it would be a week of rejuvenation for Pitt basketball nearly turned disastrous, as the Panthers needed extra time to defeat Atlantic Coast Conference also-rans Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech.

Nevertheless, Pitt survived both close calls to rebound from a two-game losing streak and remain ranked in both national polls.

On Monday, the Panthers (20-4, 8-3 ACC) found themselves at No. 23 in the USA Today coaches’ poll and No. 25 in the Associated Press survey, losing only one spot in their combined ranking. Pitt was 22nd last week according to the coaches and held steady at 25th in the scribes’ collective mind.

Pitt, which lost at home to Duke and Virginia two weeks ago to fall back in the ACC race, will get another crack at unanimous No. 1 Syracuse on Wednesday at the Petersen Events Center. The undefeated Orange (23-0, 10-0) edged the Panthers last month at the Carrier Dome.

For the second straight week, the ACC has four teams ranked in the national polls. Syracuse leads the nation on both lists, while Duke (No. 9 in both) and Virginia (No. 16 in coaches’, No. 17 in AP) also fall into place ahead of Pitt.

Following their midweek showdown with the ‘Cuse, the Panthers make their first trip to Chapel Hill on Saturday to tip off with the North Carolina Tar Heels.

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