- Associated Press - Thursday, March 13, 2014

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - The foundation of Pittsburgh’s NCAA tournament resume has been its lack of bad losses.

The Panthers weren’t about to get one in their first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament game.

Pitt routed Wake Forest 84-55 on Thursday in the second round of the ACC tournament behind 24 points from Lamar Patterson.

Talib Zanna added 17 points to help the fifth-seeded Panthers (24-8) win their ACC tournament debut with ease.

“The message I was giving to our players is how well we have played on the road, and now we’re going to be playing on the road the rest of the way in our minds,” coach Jamie Dixon said. “So that’s what we’ve turned it into.”

They never trailed, shot 50 percent and established a 38-30 rebounding advantage while giving Wake Forest one of the most lopsided ACC tournament losses in school history.

In beating Wake Forest for the second time this season, Pitt claimed just its second conference tournament victory in any league since 2008 and matched a school record for its most lopsided win in a league tournament.

Pitt also beat Rhode Island by 29 points in the 1981 Eastern 8 tournament - the forerunner of the Atlantic-10.

“We’re playing our best basketball,” Dixon said.

The Panthers will play No. 15 North Carolina, the tournament’s fourth seed, in a quarterfinal Friday.

Coron Williams scored 16 points and Codi Miller-McIntyre added 10 for the 12th-seeded Demon Deacons (17-16). They followed their best shooting performance of the year - a 61 percent showing against Notre Dame in the first round - with a dud.

“We just couldn’t stop them,” coach Jeff Bzdelik said. “And the inability to make some shots and to score, we just lost some confidence. We’ve been fragile with that throughout the course of the year at times (and) you got the score you got.”

The only drama in the second half was whether Wake Forest would wind up with its worst-ever ACC tournament loss - a distinction that still belongs to the 1966 team that lost its opener by 30 to Duke.

Josh Newkirk added 10 points for the Panthers, who went one-and-done in four of their final five trips to the Big East tournament before coming into the ACC this year along with Syracuse and Notre Dame.

Their first regular season in their new league ended with a decent amount of stress: Four of the Panthers’ previous five victories went to overtime, and until now, they hadn’t had the luxury of coasting since they beat Clemson by 33 on Jan. 21.

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