Pitt Opens Big East Tournament Against St. John's on Tuesday

Tray Woodall and Pitt are matched up against St. John's in the first round of the Big East Tournament. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

With the final regular season game played, Pitt now heads to Madison Square Garden a bit earlier than they've grown accustomed to. The Panthers will play in the 12-13 game vs. St. John's at 2 pm. The game will be shown on ESPN2.

The road to the Big East title actually sets up nicely for the Panthers due to the results of the past few days. Pitt opens with an opponent that they just beat on Wednesday, then will face the 5th seeded Hoyas should they beat the Red Storm on Wednesday, who they dominated earlier in the season. A win there would place them against surprise 4th seed Cincinnati. After that, it's all a guess as to who ends in the semifinals and finals. The past two seasons, the top overall seed has been eliminated in their first game, so watch out Syracuse.

No one is predicting Pitt to win the Big East Tournament, because that would be a longshot. But Pitt's path does open with favorable match-ups and if Pitt can get hot at the right time, anything can happen. Pitt also avoids several teams that would be really poor match-ups (Rutgers, South Florida, Notre Dame, Louisville). At the very least, a win or two virtually guarantees an NIT berth and to be honest, I don't think Pitt would accept a CBI berth if offered.

How do I think the Panthers will do? I think they can definitely win their first game vs. the Red Storm. The Hoyas have been playing better since their loss to Pitt back in early February, so who knows how that could work out for Pitt. I actually think Pitt will beat Georgetown before falling to Cincinnati, but if this team plays as well as they did vs. St. John's and parts of the second half against Connecticut, Pitt could very well get to the semifinals. Again, Pitt has favorable match-ups against teams they've beaten recently and they know that this is their only chance to make the NCAA Tournament. I feel they'll come out swinging to start and see how far it carries them.

The full schedule of the Big East tournament is below, courtesy of the Big East.

Tuesday, March 6 – First Round (ESPN2/ESPN 3D)

No. 16 DePaul (12-18) vs. No. 9 Connecticut (18-12)

Noon

No. 13 Pittsburgh (16-15) vs. No. 12 St. John’s (13-18)

2 p.m.

Tuesday, March 6 – First Round (ESPNU/ESPN 3D)

No. 15 Providence (15-16) vs. No. 10 Seton Hall (19-11)

7 p.m.

No. 14 Villanova (12-18) vs. No. 11 Rutgers (14-17)

9 p.m.

Wednesday, March 7 – Second Round (ESPN/ESPN 3D)

DePaul/Connecticut winner vs. No. 8 West Virginia (19-12)

Noon

Pittsburgh/St. John’s winner vs. No. 5 Georgetown (22-7)

2 p.m.

Providence/Seton Hall winner vs. No. 7 Louisville (22-9)

7 p.m.

Villanova/Rutgers winner vs. No. 6 USF (19-12)

9 p.m.

Thursday, March 8 – Quarterfinals (ESPN/ESPN 3D)

8/9/16 winner vs. No. 1 Syracuse (30-1)

Noon

5/12/13 winner vs. No. 4 Cincinnati (22-9)

2 p.m.

7/10/15 winner vs. No. 2 Marquette (25-6)

7 p.m.

6/11/14 winner vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (21-10)

9 p.m.

Friday, March 9 – Semifinals (ESPN/ESPN 3D)

Thursday afternoon winners

7 p.m.

Thursday evening winners

9 p.m.

Saturday, March 10 – Championship (ESPN/ESPN 3D)

Semifinal winners

9 p.m.

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