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Every victory is good, even this one

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Quick-hit thoughts on Pitt’s 61-59 victory against Georgia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament:
— Georgia Tech is bad. Pitt is better, but just barely.
— If the Yellow Jackets earn an NCAA Tournament berth — coach Josh Pastner thinks his eight ACC victories are enough — someone on the selection committee isn’t paying close enough attention.
— Pitt’s 13 turnovers were nearly twice as many as Georgia Tech committed, a fact coach Kevin Stallings noted after the game. You win a game when you’re that sloppy with the ball only if the other team can’t score (and Georgia Tech missed 40 of 62 shots from the field and six of 17 free throws).
— Pitt won the game with an 11-0 counter-punch in the second half after Georgia Tech had rallied to take a lead.
Cam Johnson’s foul trouble limited him to 26 minutes, four shots and five points. Pitt will need his shooting touch Wednesday night in the second round against Virginia.
— Pitt led, 58-51, with 38 seconds left, but here’s what followed: A foul by Chris Jones, a turnover when Pitt couldn’t inbound the ball and three missed free throws after the Panthers had hit 11 of their first 12. It wasn’t a miraculous or surprising victory, but far short of Pitt’s most impressive of the season.
— Yet, single-digit victories say a lot about the players’ fight (something else Stallings noted after the game).
— Would a victory against Virginia put Pitt in the NIT? My guess is no, but there are a limited number of teams worthy of the post-season. An ugly record of 17-17 might be good enough in this age of everyone getting a ride on the merry-go-round.
— Betcha can’t guess the only other team that failed to score 60 points against Pitt this season … Maryland, the 25th-ranked team in the nation. Pitt won that game by four, its first of three victories against teams currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (Florida State and Virginia).

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