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Pitt a big favorite in first round

Pitt is a 20.5-point favorite over No. 16 seed East Tennessee State in their first-round game at Dayton in the NCAA Tournament.

The Panthers (28-4), a No. 1 seed for the first time in the program’s history, would play the winner of Tennessee-Oklahoma State on Sunday in the second round.

East Tennessee State (23-10) finished second in the Atlantic Sun Conference in the regular season and won the post-season tournament to earn its first NCAA berth since 2004.

The Buccaneers are coached by Murry Bartow, the son of former UAB coach Gene Bartow.

Pitt is one of three No. 1 seeds from the Big East, joining Louisville and Connecticut. It is the first time one conference had three No. 1 seeds.

Louisville also is playing its first two rounds in Dayton. This is the third time in the past five years that two No. 1 seeds were placed in the same first-round city. Villanova and Connecticut played in Philadelphia in 2006 and Duke and North Carolina played in Charlotte in 2005.

“It’s not over,” DeJuan Blair said. “We’ve got a long way. This is going to be a long March. We’re going to have fun.”

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