The Scarlet Knights will play as the No. 14 seed in the first round of the Big East Tournament, and in what could be coach Fred Hill's last game on the bench.
Rutgers faces No. 11 seed Cincinnati (16-14, 7-11) in the final first-round game Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m.
The loss dropped Rutgers (15-16, 5-13 Big East) below .500, and was the fourth loss in five games to end the regular season. It also dropped Hill's four-year record at Rutgers to 47-76, and not only was the outcome against the Panthers (24-7, 13-5) familiar, so was the path to get there.
Rutgers was down by 13 points within nine minutes, and trailed 40-16 at the half.
"This was my worst nightmare come true, but you've got to let it go and move on,'' Hill told reporters after the game. "Mentally, got to get ready for the Big East tournament and just throw this one out. They came out and played hard and took us out of what we wanted to do, and it's very difficult to come back.''
Pittsburgh got open shots from the perimeter, scored easily inside and controlled the boards while the Scarlet Knights lacked patience on offense. They routinely settled for contested shots rather work for better looks en route to shooting 40.9 percent (18 of 44) from the field.
The loss marked the eighth time this season Rutgers lost a conference game by at least 16 points, and was the fifth league defeat by at least 23 points.
It also was the 25th time during Hill's tenure the Scarlet Knights lost a conference game by 15 points or more, and the ninth time they lost by at least 25 points.
Mike Rosario led the Scarlet Knights with 14 points, but was 4 of 12 from the field. He made 1 of 7 from 3-point range.
Unlike many other Big East games where Rutgers at least mounted a comeback after falling behind early, there was no fight in the Scarlet Knights. The closes Rutgers got in the second half was 23 points.