With the exception of a few non-cons that are already set, the Pitt basketball schedule is still an amorphous blob. We know a lot of the teams Pitt will play. We just don’t know when — and up until yesterday: where.
That is no longer the case with the Big East announcing the match-ups for all the teams.
Thanks to the NCAA-record 11 BIG EAST teams that played in the 2011 NCAA Championship, this year’s schedule includes an unprecedented 131 games — or 91 percent of the conference ledger — that will feature at least one NCAA tournament team from last year. Sixty-seven games — 47 percent of the schedule – will be between two of the conference’ s NCAA tournament teams.
Each of the 16 BIG EAST teams will play either 12 or 13 conference games against NCAA tournament teams.
The conference schedule will once again include 144 regular-season games as each of the BIG EAST’s 16 teams plays 18 conference games. Each team will face 12 opponents once and three opponents twice. All 144 regular-season conference games will again be televised, either by CBS Sports, the ESPN family of networks or ESPN Regional Television.
The decisions regarding repeat opponents are based on natural interest, geography, rivalries, television contractual obligations and competitive balance.
And here’s what Pitt has to look forward to in 2011-12:
Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, USF, Villanova, West Virginia
Connecticut, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse, West Virginia
The home-and-home isn’t too bad. WVU of course. USF bizarrely ends up there for a second straight year which counterbalances getting likely conference favorite Louisville.
The negative to this schedule is road versus home games for Pitt — once you take out the home-and-homes. UConn, Marquette, Notre Dame and Syracuse all on the road. Cinci, Georgetown and Villanova look to be the toughest home games.
The flip side is it is the Big East. There really is no easy schedule. Syracuse may get the immediate snap-judgment of hardest schedule, but you can never be sure. At least Pitt got to keep its home-and-home with WVU.
Not sure what the Big East was thinking by not giving an home-and-home with Syracuse and Georgetown. It’s rare to see those fanbases united, but both sides are pissed about this.
And of course the schedule cannot be released without Rick Pitino being a whiny, ass.
Louisville issued its press release noting it would play Syracuse, Pittsburgh and DePaul twice next season, and in paragraph 4 of the release, coach Rick Pitino made sure his feelings on the difficult schedule were known.
“We have one of the premier commissioners in athletics, but whoever’s doing our scheduling must be doing it with a Ouija board,” Pitino said. “How can you play two of the top three (projected) teams in the league twice and have to play another top team that’s a rival game (at Cincinnati) on the road for a second straight year? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. West Virginia has a similar argument. They must be doing it with a Ouija board.”
In the press release he whines? Not just with some interview with a reporter or on the radio? He has to get his bitchiness out there in press release format.