A wild opening week of ACC play continuted when Pittsburgh handed Virginia a second straight loss, 88-76 in overtime on Wednesday -- dropping the Cavaliers to 1-2 to start conference play. This came on the same night No. 23 Notre Dame took out No. 9 Louisville 77-70.
The consensus top-four teams in the conference of Virginia, Louisville, Duke and North Carolina are off to a combined 3-6 ACC start.
Virginia's calling-card packline defense has surrendered 125 points in the past 3 halves, going back to Saturday's loss to Florida State. The last time it gave up 88 points or more was on Feb. 16, 2013 in a 93-81 loss at North Carolina.
Going into Wednesday, Virginia had won 10 straight vs. unranked opponents.
Pittsburgh shot lights out, draining 13 of 21 3-pointers and shooting 53.7 percent overall. Still, it was barely enough. The Panthers clung to a lead late before London Perrantes sent the game to overtime with this buzzer-beater:
London Perrantes is a stone cold killer man. pic.twitter.com/dO7fvUzaOW— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) January 5, 2017
But Pitt left zero doubt in OT, drilling three 3-pointers to take a 9-point lead it wouldn't relinquish.
After Jamie Dixon left Pittsburgh for TCU in the offseason, expectations were relatively low for Kevin Stallings in his first season. So far he has surpassed expectations. His team nearly knocked off No. 24 Notre Dame earlier this week, and clinched important wins over Maryland and Penn State in nonconference play.
With the way the ACC has gone through one week, Pitt's win over Virginia was a statement that it can be a legitimate NCAA Tournament team. However, Pitt's road gets tough with trips to Syracuse and Louisville next week, so beating the Cavaliers certainly boosts confidence.