The Week Ahead: Pitt basketball schedule about to get more difficult

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Pitt will look to test themselves in more ways than one this week

Play time is over.

The Pitt basketball team has had some fun the past few weeks and is now 4-0 on the young season. It was all well and good and we got to meet a lot of new faces, but now the competition jumps up a few levels. The young Panthers will look to test themselves with teams and a hectic pace this coming week.

It all begins quickly with a Monday night nationally televised match up against a big conference opponent. Pitt will travel to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to take on the Big-12 conference's Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Raiders are 4-1 on the young season with their lone loss coming to Alabama. Tipoff will be at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen by everyone on ESPN2. Whether Pitt wins or losses, they will lace up the sneakers one more time the very next evening in Brooklyn to take on either Houston (5-0 and in the AAC) or Stanford (4-1 and in the Pac-12). It doesn't matter who they play, the opponent will be better than Lehigh or Howard. If the Panthers lose on Monday night, the game on Tuesday will be at 7:00 p.m. and if they win, they will tipoff at 9:30 p.m. There is no word on where you can see the second game, but you may have to log on to Watch ESPN if ESPNU doesn't step up and show the game.

That gives this young team two games in two nights. They will then come home to play one more game this coming week when the young players are introduced to "The City Game." Pitt and Duquesne (2-2 and in the Atlantic-10) will invade the Consol Energy Center to play in the always entertaining rivalry. The teams will jump it up at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and you can see the game on the CBS Sports Network, so check your local listings.

I find this schedule much better to watch than the first four and most importantly, Pitt will see how they stack up against better competition and also see how they handle the type of schedule they will begin to see the rest of the way. Multiple games in different cities, including three neutral-site contests.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author @BrunoPittsburgh

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