Big Lead Sports Bar

3/07/2011

Pitt Ends Regular Season at #3, Plays Thursday in Big East Tournament


The Big East Champion Pitt Panthers finished the regular season strong and were rewarded in the final polls of the regular season.


The Panthers (27-4, 15-3) are currently third in both the ESPN/USA Today and AP polls, trailing Kansas and Ohio State in both. Considering their ranking of #4 in the preseason polls, the pundits knew exactly what they were talking about in looking forward to what lied ahead for Pitt in 2010-11. This was the seventh time in eight seasons that Jamie Dixon's team had single-digit losses, and was Pitt's second regular-season championship under Dixon. 

Pitt is now headed to New York for the 29th annual Big East Tournament, where they will earn a double-bye based on their #1 seed. The Panthers' first game will be Thursday, March 10 in the Noon ET Quarterfinal matchup against either No. 8 seed Georgetown, No. 9 seed Connecticut or No. 16 seed DePaul. Pitt was a combined 3-0 versus those teams this season, with a 15-point win against UConn, a 15-point win against the Hoyas, and a 30-point blowout at DePaul.

Pitt has advanced to the conference title game in seven tournaments, all in the past decade (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008). The Panthers defeated UConn, 74-56, in the 2003 title game and Georgetown, 74-65, in 2008-09. Pitt is 26-12 at Madison Square Garden since the 2001-02 season, while Dixon holds an 11-6 record in conference tournament games played there.

Local ties always motivate the Panthers to another level at the Garden, and this year is no different, with six players who are New York City area natives: Ashton Gibbs (Scotch Plains, N.J.), Dante Taylor (Greenburgh, N.Y), J.J. Moore (Brentwood, Long Island), Isaiah Epps (Plainfield, N.J.) and Travon Woodall (Brooklyn). Somewhere, Carl Krauser is smiling. 

The full Big East Tournament schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, March 8 - First Round
No. 9 Connecticut vs. No. 16 DePaul, Noon, ESPN2
No. 12 Seton Hall vs. No. 13 Rutgers, 2 p.m., ESPN2
No. 10 Villanova vs. No. 15 USF, 7 p.m., ESPN-U
No. 11 Marquette vs. No. 14 Providence, 9 p.m., ESPN-U

Wednesday, March 9 - Second Round
No. 8 Georgetown vs. Connecticut/DePaul winner, Noon, ESPN
No. 5 St. John's vs. Seton Hall/Rutgers winner, 2 p.m., ESPN
No. 7 Cincinnati vs. Villanova/USF winner, 7 p.m., ESPN
No. 6 West Virginia vs. Marquette/Providence winner, 9 p.m., ESPN

Thursday, March 10 - Quarterfinals
No. 1 Pitt vs. 8/9/16 winner, Noon, ESPN
No. 4 Syracuse vs. 5/12/13 winner, 2 p.m., ESPN
No. 2 Notre Dame vs. 7/10/15 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN
No. 3 Louisville vs. 6/11/14 winner, 9 p.m., ESPN

Friday, March 11 - Semifinals
Thursday afternoon winners, 7 p.m., ESPN
Thursday evening winners, 9 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, March 12 - Big East Championship
Semifinal winners 9 p.m., ESPN



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