We’re knee deep in football here, but Pitt basketball had some news on Monday with the announcement of their 2016-17 men’s schedule.
Obviously, we knew many of the games already. But here’s the complete schedule with dates and every opponent - you can see times on the Pitt website.
11/5 vs. Pitt-Johnstown (exhibition)
11/11 vs. Eastern Michigan
11/14 vs. Gardner Webb
11/17 vs. SMU at Madison Square Garden (2K Classic)
11/18 vs. either Marquette or Michigan at Madison Square Garden (2K Classic)
11/22 vs. Yale
11/25 vs. Morehead State
11/29 at Maryland (ACC-Big Ten Challenge)
12/2 vs. Duquesne at Consol Center (City Game)
12/7 vs. Buffalo
12/10 vs. Penn State at Prudential Center in NJ (Never Forget Tribute Classic)
12/17 vs. Rice
12/21 vs. Nebraska-Omaha
12/28 vs. Marshall
12/31 vs. Notre Dame
1/4 vs. Virginia
1/7 at Syracuse
1/11 at Louisville
1/14 vs. Miami
1/17 at North Carolina State
1/24 vs. Louisville
1/28 vs. Clemson
1/31 at North Carolina
2/4 at Duke
2/8 at Boston College
2/11 vs. Syracuse
2/14 vs. Virginia Tech
2/18 vs. Florida State
2/22 at Wake Forest
2/25 vs. North Carolina
2/28 at Georgia Tech
3/4 at Virginia
3/7 to 3/11 ACC Tournament at The Barclays
With that out of the way, here are a few things I noticed.
Things get off to a pretty fast start and this isn’t one of this situations where the Panthers are guaranteed a 6-0, 7-0, or 8-0 start. After only a couple of tune-ups they get right into the 2K Classic where they’ll face a couple of challenging games. After that, they don’t have much time to catch their breath with a Yale team that beat Baylor in the NCAA Tournament last year. After Morehead State, they then have Maryland and the rivalry game with Duquesne. Two games later, there’s Penn State.
That’s all within the first ten games, folks. If Pitt doesn’t come prepared, the season could very easily get off to a slow start.
To the ACC, it’s very much a front-loaded schedule, culminating with brutal back-to-back road games against North Carolina/Duke. Pitt will be tested right out of the gate with games against Notre Dame, Syracuse, Virginia, and Louisville. If they can grab two of those, that would be helpful.
After North Carolina/Duke, it’s not a cakewalk, but things are much easier. The last eight games include Virginia Tech, Boston College, Wake, Georgia Tech, and Florida State. Not cakewalks but not the conference’s elite, either. Plus, two of the remaining three games there (North Carolina and Syracuse) are both at home.
For that reason, Pitt fans shouldn’t panic if the team is struggling after those road games against North Carolina and Duke. Unless they’re in a terrible hole, they’ll have a chance to add some late-season wins heading into the ACC Tournament.
Any thoughts on the schedule?