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Notes from DePaul-Pitt

· It’s about an hour before 7 p.m. tip-off against DePaul (8-18, 0-13) and for at least the next three hours or so, Pitt will be in fourth place in the Big East, while looking at a likely ascension to No. 2 in the nation after North Carolina’s loss to Maryland.

The No. 4 Panthers (24-2, 11-2) are now alone in fourth place in the Big East after Louisville and Marquette won their afternoon games and first-place Connecticut rebounded with a victory over South Florida.

Pitt, of course, will move back into a three-way tie for second place with a victory over last-place DePaul tonight. Pitt is a 27-point favorite, which, as noted in today’s article in the Trib, is the largest point spread in a Big East game in at least 13 years.

· When the Big East weekly honors are announced Monday, expect DeJuan Blair to win his first-ever Big East Player of the Week honor. Blair won multiple Rookie of the Week honors last season and has made the five-man Big East honor roll on five different occasions this season, but he has never landed the top weekly honor. Barring an unthinkably poor game against DePaul, Blair, who had 22 points and a career-high 23 rebounds in the victory at No. 1 Connecticut, is a virtually lock to win the award.

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