The Pittsburgh Panthers are moving on to the first round of the 2023 NCAA tournament despite accumulating a barrage of poor numbers in their First Four matchup versus the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Here’s a lowdown of just what Pittsburgh basketball had to overcome to pull off a win, via OptaSTATS:
Pitt is the only D-I team in the last 25 seasons to…
-score 60 or fewer points
-shoot 35.0% or worse on 2-pointers
-shoot 60.0% or worse on free throws
-get outrebounded by 20 or more
…and yet still win the game.
D-I teams had been 0-348 over that span with those numbers.
At the end of the day, Pittsburgh basketball put up the most important stat of them all, as the Panthers ended up having just one point more than the Bulldogs when it was all said and done, scoring a 60-59 victory.
The game could have easily gone the opposite way, as the Bulldogs made multiple attempts to make the game-winning basket off great looks at the rim. Fortunately for Pittsburgh basketball, the Bulldogs just were not as lucky as the Panthers, who will next face the Iowa State Hawkeyes in the first round on Friday.
Pittsburgh basketball was led in the win over the Bulldogs by Nelly Cummings, who finished with 15 points and four assists plus two steals, while Greg Elliott had 13 points and five rebounds along with two steals as well.
However, two guys, who each scored just under 10 points, came up with the biggest plays of the game for the Panthers. Jamarius Burton buried the bucket that gave Pittsburgh the lead for good with under 20 seconds remaining in regulation, while Guillermo Diaz Graham swatted away the potential game-winning attempt of Mississippi State on the other end of the floor.