Monday, March 15, 2004

So at first I was a little bit bitter about alma mater's fate going into the NCAAs. The 3 seed and the going to Milwaukee to possibly face Wisconsin thing suck.


Here's are the teams and RPIs that made up the Panthers' daunting non-conference schedule:

Alabama (NYC Coaches v. Cancer) (22)
St. Francis PA (234)
Robert Morris (229)
Albany (308)
"at" Duquesne (169)
Penn State (145)
Youngstown State (252)
Georgetown KY (NAIA)
Chicago State (209)
Murray State (71)
Florida State (47)
New Hampshire (277)
Georgia (50)
William & Mary (256)

There's one neutral site game in there and one "road" game that involved a bus trip of a good 5 miles (round trip). Two tournament teams, three other major conference teams, and a whole lot of super mediocrity. Pitt's been scheduling like this for years, and it's always bothered me--and now it's come back to possibly haunt us in a season where we're a legitimate threat for the Final Four. Admittedly, Duquesne and Robert Morris are intra-city games Pitt should be playing, and playing Penn State in basketball makes up almost a whole 1% for not playing them in football. Also, who knew Georgia would have a down year.

But still, for a team that's been in the top 20 and often the top 10 over the past three seasons, Pitt should have no trouble scheduling quality opponents, and they really need to start if they want to make an impression on Selection Sunday.

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