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Pitt notebook: Panthers break into Top 25 polls

| Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, 1:36 p.m.

Pitt returned to the national rankings for the first time this season Monday, at No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches' poll and No. 22 in the Associated Press poll.

The Panthers (15-1, 3-0 ACC) have been ranked in the AP top 25 in 174 of the last 222 weeks but not since they were No. 20 on March 18, 2013.

Pitt is one of three ranked ACC teams along with No. 2 Syracuse and No. 23 Duke. The last time the Panthers were ranked in the USA Today poll — which has Syracuse No. 2 and Duke No. 20 — was at No. 19 on March 11, 2013.

• Pitt senior swingman Lamar Patterson was named the ACC Player of the Week for the second time this season, becoming the first Panthers player to earn multiple conference honors in five years. Patterson averaged 23 points, five rebounds and four assists in leading No. 21 Pitt (15-1, 3-0 ACC) to conference victories over Maryland and Wake Forest, shooting 62.1 percent (18 of 29) from the floor, including 55.6 percent (5 of 9) on 3-pointers. He had a game-high 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting with five rebounds and six assists against Wake Forest on Saturday and a team-high 19 points and five rebounds against Maryland last Monday. Patterson, also named ACC Player of the Week on Dec. 2, is the first Panthers player to earn conference player of the week honors twice since Sam Young in the 2008-09 season.

— Kevin Gorman

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