• Losses by No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday means Pitt (25-2, 12-2) is almost certain to be the top-ranked team when the Associated Press Top 25 poll comes out on Monday. North Carolina lost to Maryland and Oklahoma fell to Texas. Pitt, of course, beat No. 1 Connecticut on Monday. Pitt was ranked No. 1 for two weeks in early January for the first time in the program’s history.
• Pitt outrebounded DePaul, 49-25, to further boost a rebounding margin that ranks second in the nation. The Panthers outscored DePaul 40-18 in the paint and 26-2 on second-chance points.
“Their missed shot was their best shot,” DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright said. “They were 2 for 12 shooting 3s (in the first half), but I would venture to say almost everyone of those misses turned into something positive.”
• Pitt’s Gary McGhee, called for three fouls in a one-second span in a forgettable sequence against Connecticut, rebounded with one of his best games of the season.
McGhee showed good energy while subbing for DeJuan Blair and matched his Big East career-high with 13 minutes played against DePaul. The 6-foot-10 sophomore had three points, six rebounds (matching his most-ever in a Big East game), one blocked shot and went a career-best 3 for 3 from the line.
McGhee could have gone 4 for 4 from the line, but he was called for a violation when he stepped over the line before his free throw had reached the basket. The ball swished, but officials waved it off.
McGhee is one of the worst free throw shooters in the Big East. He entered the game as a 37.5 percent career free throw shooter and had made only five of 15 attempts this season. Never, in 46 career games, had McGhee shot 100 percent from the line. Until Saturday night.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said afterward that McGhee’s performance was perhaps the single most important development in the game.
• Tyrell Biggs scored 13 points on 6 of 10 shooting, ending a 10-game drought in which he had failed to score in double figures. Biggs had been battling flu-like symptons last month.
• Walk-on and crowd favorite Tim Frye made his first basket in Big East action this season when he nailed a 3-pointer with 33 seconds to play.