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Lights Out: Pitt knocks out Wake Forest, 84-55

Three Panthers scored in double figures as the Pitt Panthers eliminated Wake Forest from the 2014 ACC Tournament Thursday afternoon in Greensboro.

A happy group of Pitt Panthers celebrate their win over Wake Forest
A happy group of Pitt Panthers celebrate their win over Wake Forest
Streeter Lecka

Here is today's game story. I know you're tired of watching Wake Forest basketball, so I'm giving you an alternative to actually reading it. I hope for all Wake Forest fans, that it gets better soon. Real soon.

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Lamar Patterson's 24 points helped lead the Pittsburgh Panthers to an 84-55 blowout victory over hapless Wake Forest in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Thursday. Patterson was one of three Panthers in double figures, as Talib Zanna chipped in 17 points and nine rebounds while Josh Newkirk added 10 in the victory.

Wake Forest dug itself an insurmountable hole early, going down 9-2 in the first three minutes, and were down by double digits by the 14:34 mark of the first half. Pittsburgh was uber-efficient against Wake's listless defense, scoring on seven of its last eight possessions. Even when the Panthers missed, they were all over the offensive glass, overpowering the Deacs in the post.

"It feels good," Patterson said. "We won convincingly. We were able to get some of the guys who haven't played that much in there, and it gave some of the guys who usually do play a rest at the end of the game. It was good."

Wake Forest (17-16) was once again led by Coron Williams, who scored 16 points and hit three three-pointers in the loss. Codi Miller-McIntyre rebounded somewhat from Wednesday's dismal offensive output and scored 10 for the Deacs. Wake Forest had a terrible shooting game, only making 34 percent from the floor (22 percent from three).

Pittsburgh (24-8) out-rebounded the Deacs 38-30, and forced 14 Wake Forest turnovers. The Panthers took advantage of the Deacs' generosity, scoring 20 points off Wake Forest miscues. The Panthers now advance to Friday's quarterfinal round, where they will face off against North Carolina.

The final seconds of Thursday's debacle wound down with chants of "Five more minutes" and "Bye-bye, Bz" from fans in the stands. Asked whether or not he would be talking with AD Ron Wellman in the coming days, coach Jeff Bzdelik replied flatly, "I'm just going to answer questions about the game."

There were rumors circulating Friday of a possible berth in the CBI Tournament, a pay-to-play postseason tournament. Those rumors gathered some steam during the postgame presser, when Bzdelik was asked if he would entertain the thought of playing in such a tournament.

"That's for the administration," he said. "Our only focus really was today, this game. We had intentions to win it, and to not even think about a CBI, for example. We certainly don't want to go out like this."