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Reviving Pitt-Penn State ... Basketball, That Is

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Jamie Dixon could be working out details to play Pat Chambers and Penn State (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Jamie Dixon could be working out details to play Pat Chambers and Penn State (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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When it comes to Pitt-Penn State talk, 99% of the time it's about football. But the two teams have squared off in basketball recently, too, and it sounds as if they could be doing so again if the coaches have anything to do with it.

Penn State coach Pat Chambers said recently that he and Jamie Dixon have talked about renewing the rivalry:

"That’s something Jamie and I are in the middle of talking about," Chambers said. "It’s definitely not going to happen this year, but maybe in the future. I have talked to some former players and they tell stories about playing West Virginia all the time. Maybe they will get back into the fold.

"When you have the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, you hope that can be a marquee game. It seems like when you get five or six BCS teams in the fold, that’s a lot."

Look - Penn State isn't likely to give Pitt much competition in basketball, to be fair. Even this year when Pitt struggled mightily and missed the tournament, a Penn State upset wouldn't have been all that likely. But to me, playing the game is a great idea. I think the Pitt-Penn State rivalry is pretty significant in basketball.

Central Pennsylvania is really an area that has struggled to grow interest in college basketball and playing a team like Pitt would only help.

But while I am on board for playing Penn State, even on an annual basis, I'd loathe the idea if it was Pitt's ACC-Big Ten matchup. Playing teams like Indiana, Wisconsin, or Michigan State is simply much more desirable than pounding the blue and white. College basketball is much more different than football as there are plenty of non-conference dates to find room for each other. Pitt-Penn State can be played any other time without taking up the ACC-Big Ten slot, so I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

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