Pitt's Big East Opponents Announced

The Big East Conference has announced league opponents and game sites for the 2009-10 season, so the Pitt men's basketball team has an idea about its upcoming schedule with St. John's, Seton Hall and West Virginia as the only opponents the Panthers will play at home and on the road.

Pittsburgh plays an 18-game Big East schedule again with games against each Conference opponent at least once this season, to go along with the three repeat opponents. Additionally, all 144 regular-season Big East games will be televised by CBS Sports, the ESPN networks or ESPN Regional Television.

Decisions regarding opponents are based on natural interest, geography, rivalries, television contractual obligations and competitive balance.

Pitt will play nine home games and nine away contests during Big East regular-season competition. Home opponents at the Petersen Events Center include DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova and West Virginia.

The Panthers' 2009-10 road opponents include Cincinnati, Connecticut, Marquette, Notre Dame, St. John's, Seton Hall, South Florida, Syracuse and West Virginia. Again, the three repeat opponents are St. John's, Seton Hall and West Virginia.

The Big East Tournament is scheduled for March 9-13 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Under its format, which debuted last season, all 16 Conference teams will earn a berth there. The tournament will begin with four games Tuesday, March 9, featuring seeds 9 through 16. Wednesday, March 10 games feature the winners of the lower seeds against seeds 5 through 8.

Seeds 1 through 4 will earn a two-day bye and won't play until the quarterfinals Thursday, March 11. The semifinals are Friday, March 12, and the championship game is scheduled for Saturday, March 13.

NCAA Tournament first- and second-round games are March 18-21, 2009. Sites for those games include: New Orleans, La.; Providence, R.I.; San Jose, Calif.; Spokane, Wash.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; and Oklahoma City, Okla.

The NCAA Regionals will be played from March 25-28 with four regional sites in Syracuse, N.Y.; Salt Lake City, Utah; St. Louis, Mo.; and Houston, Texas. The 2010 Final Four will be played April 3-5 at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Field.

In non-conference play, Pitt is scheduled to face perennial Big Ten power Indiana in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden Dec. 8 (9 p.m.). Pitt is also scheduled to participate in the 2009 O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 23-24. The four-team event will feature Pitt, Texas, Wichita State and Iowa.

Pitt's remaining non-conference opponents will be released at a later date. Dates and times will be released on Pitt's schedule when finalized in September.

Last season, Pitt finished 31-5 overall, advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight, secured the program's first No. 1 ranking, set a school record with a 15-3 Big East slate and advanced to its eighth straight NCAA Tournament.

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