Pitt's Big East Opponents Announced

Pitt's 2008-09 Big East men's basketball opponents were announced by the Conference Wednesday, and the Panthers will play all 15 opponents at least once this coming season with three teams visiting the Petersen Events Center and playing host to Coach Jamie Dixon's team as well.

Connecticut, DePaul and West Virginia are the Big East team's Pittsburgh will play twice during the upcoming men's basketball season.

Pitt will play nine home games and nine away contests during the Big East's regular-season schedule. Home opponents at the Pete include Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame, St. John's, South Florida, Syracuse and West Virginia.

The Panthers' road opponents are Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Villanova and West Virginia.

For the second consecutive season, the Big East will play an 18-game conference schedule. The league expanded to an 18-game regular season prior to the 2007-08 campaign after eight years with a 16-game format.

The Big East Championship is scheduled for March 10-14 at Madison Square Garden. In its new format, all 16 league teams will earn a berth to New York City. To accommodate the additional squads, the tournament will begin with four games on Tuesday, March 10, featuring seeds nine through 16.

The games Wednesday, March 11, have the winners of the lower seeds facing seeds five through eight. Seeds one through four will earn a two-day bye and won't play until the Quarterfinals Thursday, March 12. The semifinals are Friday, March 13 and the Final is scheduled for Saturday, March 14.

NCAA Tournament first- and second-round games are March 19-22, 2009. Sites for those games include: Greensboro, N.C.; Kansas City, Mo.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Portland, Ore.; Boise, Idaho; Dayton, Ohio; Miami, Fla.; and Minneapolis, Minn. The NCAA Regionals are March 26-29. The four Regional sites are Boston, Mass.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Memphis, Tenn.

The 2009 Final Four is April 4-6 at Detroit's Ford Field.

Complete dates and times for Pitt's schedule will be released when finalized in early September. Pitt's non-conference opponents will be released at a later date as well.

Pitt returns three of its five starters, each of its top three scorers and seven of its top 10 letterwinners from a team that captured the 2008 Big East Tournament title, was 27-10 overall and made a seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Pitt's Media Relations Department contributed to this story.

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