Big Lead Sports Bar



There's no shortage of local sports news today, what with our hockey team visiting the White House and our football team kicking off the NFL season at Heinz Field. But the Pitt Panthers managed to steal a headline this afternoon by releasing their full schedule for the 2009-10 season.

The Panthers will play 31 regular season games in all, including 10 against 2009 NCAA tournament teams and 21 against teams who reached postseason play last season. Pitt will face all 15 Big East opponents at least once, and will match up with WVU, St. John's, and Seton Hall twice.

Home Big East games include DePaul (Dec. 28), Georgetown (Jan. 20), Louisville (Jan. 16), Providence (March 4), Rutgers (March 6), St. John's (Jan. 28), Seton Hall (Feb. 6), Villanova (Feb. 21) and West Virginia (Feb. 12). I would imagine the Villanova game to have a little extra juice due to the fact that they ushered the Panthers out of the NCAA tournament last season. Also, I'm sure the Oakland Zoo will come up with something colorful for Rick Pitino when Louisville comes to town.

Road Big East games include Cincinnati (Jan. 4), Connecticut (Jan. 13), Marquette (Feb. 18), Notre Dame (Feb. 24), St. John's (Feb. 27), Seton Hall (Jan. 24), South Florida (Jan. 31), Syracuse (Jan. 2) and West Virginia (Feb. 3), with UConn obviously highlighting that slate.

Pitt will also participate in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic at the Sprint Center in Kansas City against Wichita State (Nov. 23) and either Iowa or Texas the following night. On December 8, they will take on Tom Crean and Indiana at the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. All three of these games will be shown on either ESPN or ESPN2. The Panthers are slated for a minimum of 12 nationally televised games in 2009-10.

Following two exhibition games against Slippery Rock and Coker (SC) College, Pitt opens the "real" season on November 13 against Wofford, who was 16-14 playing out of the Southern Conference last year. Big East play begins on December 28 against lowly DePaul at the Pete.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled Steeler and Penguin mania.

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