I repeat my feeling that Pitt was really, really foolish to count on the Big East to give them a game in the SEC/Big East Challenge. I don’t care what vibe they got from the conference. What assurances they thought they had. It was poor planning, and coupled with Big East incompetency entirely avoidable.
As such, they have been scrambling for a month to get a good (power conference with NCAA Tournament chances opponent) home game in a very specific window (right around the first weekend of December) of the non-con. Needless to say, it hasn’t gone so well. That leaves Pitt looking to find a mid-major of quality.
So, um, the Horizon Leauge, huh?
Pitt is still trying fill a major home date after not getting an expected home game in the Big East-SEC Challenge. The Panthers would be wise to lock in a home game with Horizon League favorite Valparaiso. There have been talks between the two and Pitt may not get a better RPI game on the nonconference home schedule.
I guess the upside is that Pitt probably wouldn’t have to give a return game.
I guess it’s time for the obligatory Bryce Drew kills Mississippi State in the 1998 NCAA Tournament clip.
Still, that means another season at the Pete without a major conference foe for the non-con. In case you were keeping track, the last major conference team to play a non-con at the Pete was Oklahoma State in December 2007. Since then, all good non-cons have all been tournaments at neutral or semi-neutral sites.
I know it has gotten tough for Pitt to schedule home-and-homes with good teams. Most, like Pitt, are preferring to go patsies and the good games in tournaments. It just isn’t good for Pitt in my view. It hurts fan enthusiasm. It frustrates season ticket holders. And it puts Pitt’s non-con strength of schedule in a precarious spot if the opponents in the pre-arranged tournaments aren’t as good as expected.