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Pitt schedules non-con game with Central Michigan

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NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech Michael Thomas Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Pitt men’s basketball team has scheduled a game with Central Michigan for Dec. 18, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports. The non-conference matchup is the fourth to be revealed since Pitt pulled out of the City Game on May 14. Since then, Pitt has scheduled Morgan State, Drexel and Gardner-Webb.

Central Michigan is the only MAC program Pitt has yet to face, and the Panthers have struggled against the conference to an extent, as they have a 36-25 record against MAC teams. Most of the outcomes are lopsided in Pitt’s favor, but the series with Kent State and Miami account for 18 of Pitt’s MAC losses.

Last season, the Chippewas went 14-18 and 7-11 in conference, finishing fourth in the MAC West. Meanwhile, a rebuilding Pitt went 16-17 and 6-14 in the traditionally stronger ACC, logging a 59-50 win over Northern Illinois, which is also in the MAC. As the score suggests, the game was more harrowing than Jeff Capel would have hoped, and Pitt actually trailed Northern Illinois 30-29 at the half before pulling ahead. With that said, Northern Illinois fared better than Central Michigan, going 18-13 overall and 11-7 in conference.

With Central Michigan on the schedule, Pitt’s non-conference slate for the 2020-21 season consists of West Virginia on Nov. 13, the Myrtle Beach Invitational from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22, Morgan State on Nov. 25, Central Michigan on Dec. 18, Drexel at an unknown date, Gardner-Webb at an unknown date, and an ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchup at an unknown date.

The ACC-Big Ten Challenge opponent is unknown, but the Myrtle Beach field includes Charlotte, Dayton, Loyola - Chicago, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn and Utah State as potential foes. Pitt is expected to announce three more non-conference opponents.