Pitt 3rd Seed, 1st Round Vs. Oakland, Mich.

The Pitt men's basketball team makes its ninth straight NCAA Tournament appearance when it faces Oakland, Mich. in a first-round matchup Friday at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisc.

The Panthers (24-8, 13-5 in the Big East) are coming off a disappointing loss to Notre Dame in the quarterfinals during the Big East Tournament Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Pittsburgh still received a No. 3 seed for the NCAA Tournament, while Oakland (26-8, 17-1 as the Summit League champion) is seeded 14th.

Game times will be announced Monday. All games will be broadcast nationally by CBS-TV.

"I know (Coach Greg Kampe) has done a great job over the years, and he's a good man,'' Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "They won their conference, and they have good size from what I've heard. We had a good practice today, and we continue to want to get better. So, I'm looking forward to doing that this week.

"I think it's going to be a good week. I'm also excited to go to Milwaukee. That's the site I thought we'd be placed, even though Joey Brackets (ESPN's Joe Lunardi) had us a No. 3 seed in the South. But I thought it would be Milwaukee, and we've had some success there (beating Marquette this year).

"We have four films from Oakland, and I'll be looking at them the rest of the night,'' Dixon added. "We played them three years ago, but they're bigger and older this year. When we played them before, they were smaller and quicker, but they're pretty big now.''

The Panthers have played Oakland twice previously and have two victories. Pitt beat the Golden Grizzlies 70-53 Nov. 23, 2001 and 66-55 Nov. 19, 2006. Redshirt junior forward Gilbert Brown was with the Panthers as a true freshman that season, but he did not play.

"I remember a little about them, but they're a different team now,'' Brown said. "I do remember that they played pretty tough, and I'll be sure to let everyone know not to underestimate their capability.''

Senior guard Chase Adams, who played the previous three seasons for the Centenary -- a small college in Shreveport, La. -- before transferring to Pitt, said he probably played against Oakland eight times in Summit League action.

"I'm real familiar with the team, at least the way they were when I played against them the past three seasons,'' Adams said. "I know Coach Dixon will break down film, but I'll be glad to help in any way that I can.

"I know their tendencies and what they like to do on offense and defense. They like to play methodical on defense and don't usually press too much. And on offense, they like to run their sets and set up for a good shot. They're a tough team with some size underneath.''

Oakland beat IUPUI 76-64 to win the Summit League Tournament title Tuesday night. The Golden Grizzlies appear to go just six deep with 6-foot-5 fifth-year senior forward Derrick Nelson (36 points) and 6-2 redshirt junior guard Larry Wright (16) leading the way in the title game.

Other players getting the majority of minutes in that game included 6-11 redshirt junior center Keith Benson, 6-3 sophomore guard Blake Cushingberry, 5-11 senior point guard Johnathon Jones and 6-9 junior forward Will Hudson. Benson was Oakland's top player this season with 17 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Jones and Nelson averaged 12.4 points, while Wright was at 11.1.

Nelson averaged 40 percent from 3-point range, while Jones and Wright were better than 33 percent from beyond the arc. Jones leads in assists with 6.4 per game, while Nelson (6.1) and Hudson (5.1) hit the boards pretty well, too.

The Pitt-Oakland winner advances to the NCAA Second Round to face the winner between No. 6 seed Xavier (24-8) -- which the Panthers beat in the Sweet Sixteen last year -- and No. 11 seed Minnesota (21-13). That contest is scheduled for Sunday, March 21 at a time to be determined.

Pitt is in the NCAA West Regional. The Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games are Thursday and Saturday, March 25 and 27, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Syracuse and Kansas State are the top two seeds in the region.

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