Posted: 8:00 a.m. Thursday, June 6, 2013
By Anson Whaley
Pitt's basketball team added another high-profile opponent to their non-conference schedule this season. The Panthers will play Cincinnati in the Jimmy V Classic in December.
It will be the first part of a doubleheader on December 18th at 7:00 p.m. Florida and Memphis will then play at 9:00 p.m. This marks the third time Pitt has played in the event as they previously squared off against Memphis and Indiana.
No, the Bearcats aren't high-profile like Michigan or some of the bigger opponents Pitt has played out of conference over the years. But they're a much better team than some of the cupcakes that have found their way onto the Panthers' schedule over the years. And playing a former Big East team is, of course, an added bonus.
Playing Cincinnati, a quality team with a solid track record, is a better option than the Bethune-Cookmans and North Floridas of the world. Even better, the game is on a big stage. Instead of a weak non-conference game that won't have a chance of showing up on TV, the game will be highlighted on ESPN and played in Madison Square Garden.
The non-conference schedule still has a ways to go until it's completed, but things are taking shape a little bit. The Panthers will face two teams out of Houston, Texas Tech, and Stanford in the Legends Classic. They also will play Penn State in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. And with Cincinnati, that now gives Pitt four opponents from major conferences before the ACC gauntlet. None of those teams are the impressive opponent fans want, but the schedule looks a little better with the Bearcats now on it.