OK, I'm ready to accept Pittsburgh as the obvious No. 2 team in the country.
That's what Saturday's dismantling of Georgetown did.
Final score: Panthers 70, Hoyas 54.
So it's time to cement Pitt as the Big East favorite and biggest threat to North Carolina this side of Tyler Hansbrough jumping off a house, breaking his leg and ending his career prematurely, because the Panthers were fantastic at Georgetown, grabbing nearly as many offensive rebounds (18) as the Hoyas did total rebounds (20) thanks to a 20-point, 17-board effort from sophomore DaJuan Blair.
That's why the Panthers should be the unanimous No. 2 team in the country.
And just so we're clear, it's not that I ever doubted Pitt, because it's always been clear that the Panthers have a great coach (Jamie Dixon), some great experienced talent (Sam Young and Levance Fields) and a developed habit of winning. It's just that I have trouble pushing teams to the top of the rankings when they haven't beaten anybody of note (that, by the way, is the reason I have UCLA ranked lower than the Bruins are in both the AP and Coaches poll), and entering this weekend the Panthers were 13-0 with their best win coming by single digits over a Florida State team that had previously lost by double digits to Northwestern.
Meantime: No. 1 North Carolina had wins over Michigan State, Notre Dame and Kentucky; No. 2 Connecticut had wins over Wisconsin, Miami and Gonzaga; No. 4 Oklahoma had wins over Davidson, Purdue and Southern California; and No. 5 Duke had wins over Michigan, Purdue and Xavier.
In other words, Pitt's resume was less impressive than the other four teams in the top five of the latest AP poll.
But not anymore.
The Panthers went to Georgetown and pounded a team with wins over Maryland, Memphis and Connecticut.
And that's strong.
And that's convincing.
And that's why the Panthers should be the unanimous No. 2 team in the country.