May 19, 2011
PITTSBURGH--ESPN announced Thursday afternoon that Pitt will play at Tennessee as part of the first annual 2011 BIG EAST/SEC Basketball Challenge. The game is scheduled for Saturday, December 3 and will be nationally televised on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
The newly expanded BIG EAST/SEC Challenge format will feature 12 games over three days beginning on the Thursday after Thanksgiving each year. All 12 games will be played at home sites with each conference hosting six games a year. SEC teams will alternate home and away games. Twelve of the 16 Big East teams (17 teams in the second year) will participate each year with home, road and no-game assignments determined in advance.
Last year, Tennessee traveled to Pittsburgh and the CONSOL Energy Center to play the Panthers as part of the BIG EAST/SEC Invitational. The No. 11 ranked Vols upset the No. 3 ranked Panthers 83-76. Tennessee has appeared in seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments and has advanced to three NCAA Sweet Sixteens over the last five seasons. Pitt and Tennessee have met five times in men's basketball with the Volunteers claiming four of the five overall meetings. The last time the two teams met in Knoxville was on December 6, 1998.
Pitt will also play four games as part of the fifth annual Philly HoopGroup Classic, held Thanksgiving weekend at the Palestra in Philadelphia, Pa. The multiple team event will feature Pitt, Penn, James Madison, LaSalle, Rider and Robert Morris. Pitt is scheduled to play Penn on Friday, Nov. 25. Pitt's three preliminary games will be played at the Petersen Events Center sometime between Nov. 13-23. Finalized matchups and game locations for the entire tournament will be announced at a later date. For more information on the 2011 Philly HoopGroup Classic, please visit the organization's website at: www.hoopgroup.com.
Pitt's entire 2010-11 men's basketball schedule will be released at a later date.
Pitt returns two starters and seven of its top-10 letterwinners from a squad that won the Big East regular season title outright with a 15-3 record, finished 28-6 overall, garnered a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive season.
2011 BIG EAST/SEC CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
All games will be televised on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. Tipoff times will be released at a later date.
Thursday, December 1
St. John's at Kentucky
Providence at South Carolina
Georgetown at Alabama
Mississippi at DePaul
Friday, December 2
Cincinnati at Georgia
Florida at Syracuse
Auburn at Seton Hall
Vanderbilt at Louisville
Saturday, December 3
Arkansas at Connecticut
LSU at Rutgers
PITT at Tennessee
West Virginia at Mississippi State
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