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ACC Tournament: Syracuse to face Pitt after Panthers beat Boston College, 80-70

Not the result we may have expected, but the one we’re facing.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team will face the Pittsburgh Panthers in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday night. Pitt, the 14-seed coming into the event, beat Boston College 80-70 on Tuesday to advance to the next round down in Charlotte.

Pitt jumped out to a 15-point lead at half, then kept momentum going enough to close out the win and complete a first day of ACC Tournament action featuring upsets in two of the three games (Miami was the lone better seed to get through). The Panthers’ scoring largely came from two players: Trey McGowens (26) and Xavier Johnson (23). Jared Wilson-Frame added 16 as well, and also tied for the team lead in rebounds with nine.

Syracuse has already beaten Pitt twice this year, and will now need to make it a third time in order to move onto the quarterfinals. The Orange haven’t beaten the same team three times in a single season since 2011-12, when they did so against UConn. SU beat Pitt 74-63 on January 19 and then 65-56 on the road a couple weeks later.

These teams have faced off in the ACC Tournament before, with Pitt winning 72-71 back in 2016. The Orange led by 14 in that one before collapsing late. It was Syracuse’s third loss in three tries against the Panthers that year, and Jamie Dixon’s final game (thankfully) as coach there. At the time, it was thought the loss could’ve knocked SU out of at-large contention. Instead, the Orange not only made the field, but were safely in as a 10-seed and ended up playing their way to the Final Four.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh will tip off around 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The winner will get Duke in the quarterfinals.