Jamie Dixon has a favorable home schedule in 2012-13 (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Today, the Big East announced which teams Pitt would play at home in the Petersen Events Center and on the road. Due to West Virginia leaving, Pitt will have four home-and-home opponents - Cincinnati, DePaul, Marquette, and Villanova. Pitt will then play five teams at home and five on the road to fill out the 18 game conference schedule. The full schedule with dates and times will be announced some time in September if we're going off of previous seasons.
*Italicized names are home-and-home teams
Home: Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Marquette, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, South Florida, Syracuse, Villanova
Away: Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Providence, Rutgers, St. John's, Villanova
Let's digest this a bit after the jump.
For what will likely be their final season in the Big East, Pitt actually received a decent home schedule as opposed to last season. Home games against top tier teams in Marquette, Notre Dame, and Syracuse. Cincinnati should be good as well. Rivalry games against UConn and Villanova as well will help sell out the Pete. Now just watch as Pitt will play Syracuse during winter break...
The road schedule will be challenging. Louisville, Marquette, and Georgetown will be tough road games, as will trap games against Rutgers and Providence (as they always are).
Guessing this team's conference record is going to be tough. We don't know how this team will be going into the season. Can Steven Adams be the player we all think he can be? How will the rest of the front court shake out? Can this team find a consistent 3-point shooter? If they can do all these things, Pitt can finish in the top half and make the NCAA Tournament.
Even with Adams, the front court is a concern. We've seen glimpses and flashes of Dante Taylor and Talib Zanna playing well enough, but nowhere nearly consistent enough to ease concerns about the 4 and 5 spot.
Right now, I'm going to predict 10-8 in conference. I think the Panthers will win all but one or two of the home games, with Notre Dame being the loss and Syracuse being a potential loss. Pitt will likely lose to Louisville and Marquette on the road, and as usual, you can probably throw in a surprise loss to a team like Providence or Rutgers.
When everything plays out, I don't think we'll see the same team we saw last season, though. This team looks a bit more like the Pitt teams of the past decade. I'm not sure they'll finish in the upper echelon of the conference (at least not next season), but they are definitely capable of finishing in the top half.