The Pitt men’s basketball non-conference schedule for the 2021-22 season was released in its entirety on Monday, and although a handful of games had already been revealed, such as the tilts with Minnesota, St. John’s, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, others were new.
The non-conference schedule includes 12 games, one of which is an exhibition matchup with Division II program Gannon. The four previously revealed games are the only matchups with teams from the major seven conferences of college basketball. The other seven involve lower-tier teams, with the headliners being a King Rice-led Monmouth team that is coming off back-to-back winning seasons and Ryan Odom's UMBC squad, which has had four winning seasons in five years.
Also heading to the Petersen Events Center this season are familiar opponents that Pitt has defeated in recent years, such as Colgate and Towson. Pitt will also host the Citadel and UNC - Wilmington for the first time and face Jacksonville for the first time since posting an 81-74 win over the Dolphins in 1988.
Notably absent from the non-conference schedule is Duquesne, Pitt’s intracity rival in the Atlantic 10. Prior to Jeff Capel’s arrival in Pittsburgh, the Panthers and Dukes had faced off in the City Game every season since 1970 without interruption. However, since Capel was hired by Pitt in March 2018, the game has been played just once in 2018 and has been left off the schedule in every season since.
Pitt will see its first action of the 2021-22 season on Nov. 1, when it hosts Gannon in its only exhibition matchup. The team will then open up the season with a game against the Citadel at the Petersen Events Center on Nov. 9 before heading down I-79 to face West Virginia at the WVU Coliseum on Nov. 12.
The Panthers will then head back home to face UNC - Wilmington on Nov. 16 and will close out the month with home matchups against Towson (Nov. 19), Vanderbilt (Nov. 24), UMBC (Nov. 27) and Minnesota (Nov. 30). The Vanderbilt game is the first part of a home-and-home series that will see Pitt travel to Nashville in 2022, and the game with Minnesota is one of 14 games in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Pitt will have a lighter schedule in December, as it will start the month with eight days off before hosting Colgate on Dec. 9. Three days later, Monmouth will come to town. The team will then head to Madison Square Garden on Dec. 18 to face St. John’s in the Gotham Classic, and then, Pitt will close out its non-conference slate with a matchup against Jacksonville at the Petersen Events Center on Dec. 21.