Have you met Lamar Patterson? Passionate followers of the Pitt Panthers, and there are more of those than there once were, found themselves a bit vexed by the release of a Wooden Award midseason top 25 list that omitted young Mr. Patterson.

We have told you before the Wooden Award is the least trustworthy of the three major ballot-based player of the year awards — the Naismith Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy are the others — and that its principal advantages are association with the Wooden name and now ESPN's promotional might. But putting that aside, did the Woodenites really get it wrong?

In a sense, probably not. Patterson's disadvantage remains a relative dearth of high-level opponents that can verify his rise to excellence. Some blame that on Pitt's weak nonconference approach, but my goodness, the Panthers are seven games into their ACC schedule and still have played only a single RPI top-50 team.

That changes this week, when Pitt gets both Duke (16-4) and Virginia (15-5) at the Petersen Events Center.