When Indiana was announced as Pitt's opponent for this season's ACC-Big Ten Challenge, most of us were pretty excited. While I've always been on record as saying the Panthers should regularly schedule Penn State as a basketball opponent, seeing the Nittany Lions as their Big Ten opponent in the event last year wasn't all that ideal. The best case scenario (for me, anyway) remains playing Penn State in a regular non-con game and then facing a top program from that conference in the Challenge.
ESPN, though, doesn't think much of the game. The site actually ranked the game only eighth out of all of the 14 matchups:
8. Pittsburgh at Indiana: The Panthers haven’t played the Hoosiers in Bloomington since 1941 and Pitt's experienced guards Cameron Wright and James Robinson won’t be intimidated by Assembly Hall. Noah Vonleh’s decision to turn pro possibly set IU back in its bid to rejoin the nation’s elite. But guard Yogi Ferrell and newcomer James Blackmon Jr. means the Hoosiers' cupboard isn’t bare.
Indiana has been down (and so has Pitt a little, for that matter), so I can see why the game might not be a marquee one in the landscape of college hoops. That might seem low, but when you look at the other games, I'm not sure it should be much higher. The games ranking ahead of Pitt-Indiana are:
Notre Dame-Michigan State
I'd definitely put it above the Seminoles' game with the Cornhuskers. I mean, stop with that. Maybe also Michigan State and Notre Dame. But other than that, I don't know that Pitt's game cracks the top five for me, either.
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