Wake Forest vs Pittsburgh
When: 2:00 PM
ET, Thursday, March 13, 2014
Where: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
Fifth-seeded Pittsburgh steadied itself by winning three of the last four games and looks to build on that when it faces Wake Forest in the second round of its first ACC tournament on Thursday at Greensboro, N.C. The Panthers beat the No. 12 seed Demon Deacons 80-65 during the regular season. “It’s exciting,” Pittsburgh point guard James Robinson told the Pittsburgh Gazette. “We are going to try and take the best of what we learned during the season and go down and play the best we can.”
The Panthers come into the event after leading the league in assists per game, finishing second in rebounding margin and third in scoring with two important veteran leaders. Senior Lamar Patterson is fourth in the ACC in scoring and made the All-ACC second team while fellow senior Tailb Zanna gives the Panthers a 6-9 presence inside. Wake Forest shot a season-high 61 percent from the field to beat Notre Dame 81-69 in the first round Wednesday.
TV: 2 p.m. ET, ESPN, ACC Network
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (17-15): Robert Morris transfer Coron Williams has been the top offensive threat for the Demon Deacons of late while averaging 16.8 points over the last four games, including 25 in Wednesday’s victory. Leading scorer Codi Miller-McIntyre (12.7) is averaging fewer than 10 points the last nine games, but has dished out at least six assists in six of them. Devin Thomas collected 19 points and 10 boards against Notre Dame to raise his season averages to 11.2 and a team-high 7.6, respectively.
ABOUT PITTSBURGH (23-8): Freshman Josh Newkirk’s basket at the buzzer sent the game into overtime where the Panthers may have punched their NCAA Tournament ticket with an 83-78 win at Clemson on Saturday. Patterson poured in a career-high 30 points in that game to improve his season average to 17.6. Zanna averages 12.5 points, a team-high 8.3 rebounds and shoots 56.1 percent while Cameron Wright (10.8) is the only other player in double figures scoring for the Panthers, who were 7-2 on the road in league play.
1. Robinson led the ACC in assist-turnover ratio (3.9) during the regular season.
2. Wake Forest senior F Travis McKie, averaging 11 points, is expected to start his 127th career game, tying Tim Duncan for the program’s all-time record.
3. Patterson will play in his 144th career game, the most in Pittsburgh history after passing Sam Young (143, from 2005-09).
PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 74, Wake Forest 64
Stats and Records