Pittsburgh joins Texas, Maryland and Illinois in the championship event Nov. 18-19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Panthers will play two of the three other teams.
The format for the 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, billed as the nation's premier season-opening college basketball tournament, remains the same as this past season, as 12 teams in all will be in the 16th annual event.
Pitt, Texas, Maryland and Illinois are hosts for regional round games from Nov. 8-12. The four hosts advance to the Garden Nov. 18-19.
Other participating teams are Charleston, Illinois-Chicago, Louisiana Tech, Navy, Rhode Island, Seattle, Toledo and UC-Irvine. Toledo and UC-Irvine are hosts for sub-regional rounds, so Pitt's two other opponents from this event will come from this group: Charleston, Illinois-Chicago, Louisiana Tech, Navy, Rhode Island and Seattle.
The entire bracket, including all the matchups, dates and times, will be announced at a later date. Pitt has been a regular participate in non-conference tournaments like this, including the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic that had its final two games in Kansas City.
Tickets for the Madison Square Garden games will go on sale Tuesday at noon by calling TicketMaster at 866-448-7849 or through ticketmaster.com
Pitt also will play in the Big East-SEC challenge this year. Two other non-conference opponents for next season will be Duquesne and Robert Morris University in early games. RMU coach Mike Rice wants the game scheduled as early as possible so the conference schedules aren't interrupted.
Pitt played Texas this past season in Kansas City and lost, 78-62, when the Longhorns were ranked second nationally. So, that matchup could be avoided next season. The Panthers last played Maryland in 1998 and haven't played Illinois since 1993.
Pitt is 1-5 against the Terrapins with an overtime win, 89-86, Feb. 11, 1978, at the Civic Arena. The Panthers also lost at Maryland Feb. 15, 1977 (88-75) and Jan. 12, 1980 (95-88) and lost on neutral courts Dec. 28, 1996 (66-63) and Nov. 28, 1998 (87-52).
Pitt is 2-4 against Illinois with road wins Feb. 13, 1993 (95-79) and 1940-41 (43-41). The Fighting Illini beat the home-standing Panthers , 58-31, in 1946-47, at home in 1947-48 (70-33), on a neutral court Dec. 27, 1963 (83-76) and at Pitt Dec. 6, 1986 (99-97).
Maryland is 23-7 this season and co-champs in the ACC. Illinois is 18-13, but has just two seniors on primarily a young team.
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