The Pittsburgh Panthers bring a 24-8 record to the West region first round game with the Wichita State Shockers as they look to advance as an 8 seed.
Pitt lost in the Big East quarterfinals but still earned the bracket spot against No. 9 Wichita State. Pitt enjoyed three wins against Top 25 teams in 2013 behind the play of Tray Woodall.
WSU meanwhile lost to Creighton in the MVC Title Game and will need a big effort from Cleanthony Early to win here.
Surprisingly, the Panthers are 4.5-point favorites, even though the Shockers have a better record and better RPI rank. WSU has trended OVER (9-3 past 12 games) in the underdog role.
The Panthers sit at 24-8 (13-13 ATS) on the season. By comparison, the Shockers are currently 26-8 (16-14-1 ATS). Looking to wager on the totals? Pittsburgh is 13-11 OU, and Wichita State is 14-16 OU.
On the opening NCAA basketball line for this matchup, Pittsburgh sat as 4.5-point favorites over at 5Dimes. Also, check out the current total (118.5) at .
Power Rankings / Prediction:
According to new college basketball power rankings here, it's the No. 32-ranked Panthers and the No. 27-rated Shockers in this matchup. Computer formulas aimed at predicting NCAAB scores point to a 78-73 win for the Panthers on Thursday.
How They Match Up:
When it comes to rebounds, the visiting Shockers rank No. 27 in NCAA Division 1 with 38.4 per game. That compares with Pittsburgh’s No. 139 ranking in that category. The story is different when it comes to three-point shooting where Pittsburgh is college basketball's No. 287-ranked team at 5.1 per game, while the Shockers rate No. 123 with 6.6 per game.
Defensively, Wichita State features the nation's No. 68-rated defense on the road, allowing 65 points per game. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, comes in at No. 151 nationally in scoring at home.
Wichita State was a 68-65 loser in their most recent outing on the road against Creighton. They failed to cover the 1.5-point spread as underdogs. Malcolm Armstead went off for 28 points and added 9 rebounds but it wasn't enough as Creighton handed Wichita State a 68-65 defeat at Scottrade Center.
In their last action, Pittsburgh was a 62-59 loser at home against Syracuse. They failed to cover the 2-point spread as favorites. The Panthers endured a 62-59 loss at the hands of the Orange on Thursday, despite a 14-point effort from Lamar Patterson at Madison Square Garden.
Wichita State Shockers Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 9-1
After playing Creighton are 9-1
After a loss are 6-4
Pittsburgh Panthers Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
After playing Syracuse are 7-3
After a loss are 8-2
A few Shockers at Panthers trends to consider:
Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games