Home > Current Updates > Bracket Bits: Trouble brewing for SMU and Pittsburgh?

Bracket Bits: Trouble brewing for SMU and Pittsburgh?

dave1As we prepare for Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, it’s been more famine than feast for SMU and Pittsburgh.  Both the Mustangs and Panthers were projected tournament teams in our preseason bracket.  Less than two weeks into the college hoops season, SMU and Pitt have combined for five losses.  Which begs the question: Could trouble be brewing?

Southern Methodist (SMU) – Things certainly haven’t gone as planned for Larry Brown’s crew in Dallas.  They’ve played without Markus Kennedy, who is ineligible the first semester.  Prized recruit Emmanual Mudiay bolted for professional ball in China.  And the Mustangs have missed on their first three chances to make a non-conference impression on the Selection Committee – losing at Gonzaga, at Indiana, and at home to Arkansas.  None of those are bad losses, but they are missed opportunities.  SMU led Indiana late and had the Razorbacks at home.  Which means … upcoming dates with Wyoming (Dec. 5) and at Michigan (Dec. 20) could be rather important.  Because other than Connecticut at this juncture, the American Athletic Conference (AAC) isn’t filled with many sure-fire NCAA teams.  Will Memphis, Cincinnati, or even Tulsa prove to be quality wins? There’s certainly time to regroup, and having Kennedy back will definitely help, but the jury is still out for a team projected to be a potential Top 5 seed.

Pittsburgh – Given a robust Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) slate, the Panthers will have plenty of opportunities to make impressions. But it certainly hasn’t been a great start.  On its way to Maui, Pitt dropped a game at Hawaii.  On Tuesday, the Panthers were easily dispatched by San Diego State.  Which makes today’s game with Kansas State rather interesting.  After that, Pitt’s top remaining non-conference game is at Indiana (Dec. 2, part of ACC-B10 Challenge).  In other words, the next week will decide whether the Panthers have any cache heading into conference play.  Without any, it could be a much tougher journey from January to March.

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