Preview: Pittsburgh at DePaul
No. 22 Pittsburgh looks to close out the regular season with a fourth straight win when the Panthers visit DePaul on Saturday. The Panthers beat Villanova 73-64 in overtime Sunday to move into a three-way tie for fourth in the Big East with No. 16 Syracuse and No. 24 Notre Dame. One of the three will get a double-bye in the conference tournament while the other two will only get a first-round bye. Pittsburgh routed DePaul 93-55 in their first matchup Jan. 26.The Blue Demons have won one game in the last two months. Since that victory, a 75-69 result over Rutgers on Feb. 16, DePaul has logged five losses by an average of 17.6 points. Most recently, the Blue Demons dropped a 78-57 contest to the Orange on Wednesday. The Blue Demons haven't held an opponent under 69 points since Dec. 22, before the start of conference play.TV: 2 p.m. ET, Big East Network.ABOUT DEPAUL (11-19, 2-15 Big East): Brandon Young and Cleveland Melvin pace the third-best scoring team in the Big East with 16.6 and 16.5 points per game respectively. Jamee Crockett adds 8.9 points a game for the Blue Demons, who average 72. Melvin hauls in a team-high 7.1 rebounds for DePaul, which ranks second to last in the Big East in defensive and offensive rebounding. The Blue Demons are also last in the conference in scoring defense (75.1) and defensive field-goal percentage (45.8).ABOUT PITTSBURGH (23-7, 11-6): Tray Woodall leads a balanced offense with 11.5 points and 5.3 assists. Lamar Patterson adds 10 points a game while Talib Zanna tallies 9.9 and a team-high 6.1 rebounds. Pittsburgh's 47.2-percent shooting ranks 26th in the country. The Panthers allow a conference-low 54.9 points on 38.8-percent shooting and lead the Big East in rebounding margin at plus-6.7.TIP-INS1. Syracuse closes its season at No. 5 Georgetown on Saturday, while Notre Dame visits No. 6 Louisville.2. Pittsburgh C Steven Adams (7 ppg) ranks fourth in the Big East with 57.4-percent shooting. 3. The Panthers' 16.4 assists per game rank second in the Big East and 10th nationally.PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 84, DePaul 60
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