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By John Grupp
Friday, Aug. 7, 2009
 

A trip to Madison Square Garden to play Indiana in the Jimmy V Classic highlights the Pitt men's basketball team's 2009-10 nonconference schedule.

The nationally televised game will be at 9 p.m. Dec. 8.

Pitt's 13-game nonconference schedule, released Thursday, also includes two games in Kansas City against Iowa, Wichita State and/or Texas as part of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.

Pitt, which opens practice Oct. 16, will play 21 games against teams who advanced to postseason play in 2008-09.

"I think we've put ourselves in position to play one of the top schedules in the country once again," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "We're exactly where we want to be."

The Panthers will host Wofford, Binghamton, Eastern Kentucky, Youngstown State, New Hampshire, Kent State, Mount St. Mary's and Ohio, and meet city opponents Duquesne on Dec. 2 and Robert Morris at a date to be determined. All of those games, except for Duquesne, will be played at Petersen Events Center.

Preseason exhibitions are against Slippery Rock on Nov. 1 and Coker College (S.C.) on Nov. 8.

The Panthers, who return one starter from a 31-5 Elite Eight team, will open their season against Wofford on Nov. 13.

There are some interesting storylines in the nonleague schedule. Indiana, coming off a school-worst 6-25 season, is coached by Tom Crean, formerly of Big East rival Marquette.

The Binghamton game Nov. 17 will be played at 5:30 p.m. and televised on ESPN2 as part of ESPN's 24-hour college basketball coverage. New Hampshire is coached by Bill Herrion, the older brother of Pitt assistant Tom Herrion.

Pitt's 18-game Big East schedule consists of playing each league opponent once and three teams — St. John's, Seton Hall and West Virginia — twice.

Pitt will learn its opponent in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic (formerly the Guardians Classic) at a later date. The Panthers will play in the semifinals Nov. 23 and either the finals or the consolation Nov. 24.

Texas is expected to be a consensus top-5 team in the 2009-10 preseason polls, while Iowa is a likely bottom-feeder in the Big Ten. Wichita State, which loses only one top player from a 16-16 team, is predicted to finish in the middle-to-upper half of the Missouri Valley Conference.

Pitt's complete schedule, including Big East regular-season times and dates, will be released next month.

Pitt's 2009-10 schedule

A look at the nonconference games for the Panthers this season. The dates and times for Big East games will be announced next month.

Date — Opponent

Nov. 1 — Slippery Rock (exh.)

Nov. 8 — Coker College (S.C.) (exh.)

Nov. 13 — Wofford

Nov. 17 — Binghamton

Nov. 19 — Eastern Kentucky

*Nov. 23 — Iowa, Wichita State or Texas at Kansas City

*Nov. 24 — Iowa, Wichita State or Texas at Kansas City

Nov. 28 — Youngstown State

Dec. 2 — at Duquesne

Dec. 4 — New Hampshire

Dec. 8 — vs. Indiana at Madison Square Garden

Dec. 12 — Kent State

Dec. 19 — Mount St. Mary's

Dec. 22 — Ohio

TBA — Robert Morris

*-O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic

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