The long wait is over for Pitt’s 2012-13 basketball schedule.
Pitt’s final season in the Big East features a possible Thanksgiving trip to Madison Square Garden, and home games against Connecticut, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Villanova.
But the schedule also could feature not one major conference non-Big East opponent and for the first time in 96 years, there’s no Backyard Brawl.
As part of its 31-game slate, released Wednesday, the Panthers will play an 18-game Big East schedule, meeting each team once and Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette and Villanova two times each.
After that, there are few chances at RPI-building wins out of conference. The ACC-bound Panthers, left out of the Big East/SEC Challenge, are competing in the Preseason NIT – its only opportunity for a marquee victory outside the Big East. The semifinals and finals are Nov. 21 and Nov. 23 in New York against — provided the host schools advance — Michigan, Virginia or Kansas State.
But host schools aren’t guaranteed a spot at the Garden. Pitt first must win two preliminary home games Nov. 12 and Nov. 13 against two opponents that will likely come from a group including Fordham, Lehigh and Robert Morris. If Pitt fails to advance, they would host two additional Preseason NIT games on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 – and have no chance at a win over a quality BCS non-conference opponent.
Pitt will open its Big East schedule at noon on New Year’s Eve against visiting Cincinnati at Petersen Events Center. Coach Jamie Dixon’s Panthers host Connecticut on Jan. 19 and Syracuse, a likely top-10 preseason team, on Feb. 2.
Some of Pitt’s top road games include at Cincinnati on Feb. 9 in a potential ESPN College GameDay broadcast, and at Louisville, the early Big East favorite and a likely preseason top-5 team for the 2012-13 season, on Jan. 28.
For the first time since 1916-17, Pitt will not play West Virginia, in its first season in the Big 12. The two have played 184 times dating to 1903.
Pitt will open its regular season against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 9 at Petersen Events Center. Pitt’s 13-game nonconference schedule also includes Oakland, Howard, Detroit, North Florida, Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State and Kennesaw State.
The annual City Game against Duquesne is Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Consol Energy Center. .
Pitt, which went 22-17 last season and saw its run of 10 consecutive NCAA berths come to an end, returns three starters, seven of its top nine scorers and welcomes a top-10 recruiting class.
The Panthers have exhibition games against Indiana (Pa.) on Oct. 26 and Hawaii-Hilo on Nov. 2.
2012-13 PITT MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
Date Opponent (TV) Time
Friday, Oct. 26 INDIANA (PA.) (Exh.) TBA
Friday, Nov. 2 HAWAII-HILO (Exh.) TBA
Friday, Nov. 9 MOUNT ST. MARY’S TBA
Preseason NIT (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
*Monday, Nov. 12 TBA TBA
*Tuesday, Nov. 13 TBA TBA
Saturday, Nov. 17 OAKLAND TBA
Preseason NIT (New York, N.Y.)
*Wednesday, Nov. 21 Semifinal (ESPN2/ESPNU) TBA-Madison Square Garden TBA
*Friday, Nov. 23 Championship/Consolation (ESPN) TBA-Madison Square Garden TBA
Host schools: Pitt, Michigan, Virginia, Kansas State
(*Note: Pitt must win in order to advance to New York. If it does not advance, it will host two Preseason NIT games
on both Monday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the Petersen Events Center)
Tuesday, Nov. 27 HOWARD TBA
Saturday, Dec. 1 DETROIT BA
Wednesday, Dec. 5 vs. Duquesne# TBA
Saturday, Dec. 8 NORTH FLORIDA TBA
Saturday, Dec. 15 BETHUNE-COOKMAN TBA
Wednesday, Dec. 19 DELAWARE STATE TBA
Sunday, Dec. 23 KENNESAW STATE TBA
Monday, Dec. 31 *CINCINNATI (ESPN2) Noon
Saturday, Jan. 5 at *Rutgers (ESPN2) 11 a.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 8 at *Georgetown (ESPNU) 9 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12 *MARQUETTE (ESPNU) Noon
Wednesday, Jan. 16 at *Villanova (ESPNU) 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19 *CONNECTICUT (ESPN2) Noon
Tuesday, Jan. 22 at *Providence (ESPN2) 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 26 *DEPAUL TBA
Monday, Jan. 28 at *Louisville (ESPN) 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2 *SYRACUSE (ESPN) Noon
Monday, Feb. 4 *SETON HALL (ESPNU) 9 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9 at *Cincinnati (ESPN/ESPN2) TBA
Saturday, Feb. 16 at *Marquette (CBS) 1 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 18 *NOTRE DAME (ESPN) 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 24 at *St. John’s (MSG) TBA
Wednesday, Feb. 27 *SOUTH FLORIDA TBA
Sunday, March 3 *VILLANOVA TBA
Saturday, March 9 at *DePaul TBA
Tue.-Sat., March 12-16 at Big East Championship (ESPN)
# — at Consol Energy Center
All Times Eastern. All home games in CAPS and BOLD. Television games in parentheses. All game times are subject to change.
*indicates Big East Conference games.
All home games played in the Petersen Events Center.