Pitt received a No. 1 seed in the Southeast Region, as the 2011 NCAA Tournament field was released tonight.
The Panthers (27-5) will play the winner of the play-in game between Sun Belt champion Arkansas-Little Rock (19-16)-UNC-Asheville (19-13) in the first round on Thursday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
“Pitt is by far and away the class of this region,” analyst Charles Barkley said.
Pitt, the Big East regular-season champion, will face a likely matchup with No. 8 Butler or No. 9 Old Dominion in the second round. With two wins, Pitt would advance to the Round of 16 in New Orleans.
This is the 10th year in a row the Panthers reached the NCAA Tournament – only six schools have a longer active streak – and the sixth year in a row Pitt received a top-5 seed.
Other teams standing between Pitt and it first trip to the Final Four since 1941 (when the field was eight teams) include No. 2 seed Florida, No. 3 BYU, No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 5 Kansas State.