Pitt will be hosting its biggest home game of the season tomorrow against the sixth ranked Syracuse Orange. Pitt enters this game unranked, but history is actually on their side in this battle. The Petersen Events Center has never been too kind to members of the top ten. In fact, Pitt is 12-1 all time at The Pete against top ten foes. The Petersen Events Center has been renowned for its home court advantage, and Pitt will look to lean on that once again Saturday.
The driving force behind the excellent home court advantage is of course, the Oakland Zoo. The Zoo has certainly given its share of fits to visiting teams since the opening of the Petersen Events Center back in 2002. It is widely regarded as one of the best student section in the country. The Zoo already formed a line beginning Friday afternoon to get the best seats for Saturday's noon game. The Zoo crashed the Pitt web servers earlier in the week, when 1,000 students were after the remaining 29 tickets for the game. Needless to say, they are a bit excited for this one.
The Zoo and their iconic gold t-shirts always look impressive from watching at home, but Saturday the entire crowd will be decked for a "Gold Out." Pitt has hosted a gold out each of the past two seasons, splitting the games. The Panthers have also worn gold the past two home games, resulting in two wins, in case you were looking for some golden history.
The battle with Syracuse is certainly a big one for Pitt, as they need to keep up in the crowded Big East standings. They also need to prove they can get a win against a big time opponent, something lacking on their resume. This game will be huge, and fortunately for Pitt, the home court advantage will be on their side.