Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pitt’s Home Non-Conference Schedule

A few weeks ago, the University of Pittsburgh’s men’s basketball team started the season by defeating the University of Rhode Island at Pitt’s Petersen Event Center. With that win and now four others at home to start the season, Pitt is now 80-1 (I believe) in nonconference games since the Petersen Event Center opened in 2002. This is an amazing record. However, after the Pitt-URI game, I saw someone on a message board post that they were not impressed with this record since “Pitt hasn’t played anyone.”

While my first mistake was reading a message board and now responding to it (this seems like the time I had an argument with a 16 year-old), I decided to look at Pitt’s nonconference schedule since they moved from Fitzgerald Field House. Sure, Pitt has played teams that never make the NCAA Tournament like New Hampshire, Maine, St. Francis (PA) and St. Francis (NY), Youngstown State, Howard and Penn State, but Pitt has also played some decent mid-major and major conference teams at home such as Ohio State, George Mason, Florida State, Georgia, Richmond, South Carolina, Auburn, Wisconsin, Dayton, and Oklahoma State over the years. Pitt’s only loss was to Bucknell during the 2004-2005 season, the same year that Bucknell upset Kansas in the NCAA Tournament.

Based on this list, I’m not sure who else the random message board guy wants Pitt to play prior to the Big East schedule. Generally, “major” conference teams play few true road games as part of their non-conference schedule as most games away from their home arena are part of a tournament at a neutral site. For example, Pitt already faced Maryland and Texas this year at Madison Square Garden in New York. Sure, there is the annual ACC-Big 10 challenge, but the Big East hasn’t had this type of arrangement. Yes, everyone wants to see more power conference teams play a more difficult non-conference schedule to include true road games at mid-majors, but that just doesn’t seem to be the reality.

Basically, Pitt has faced their share of tough home non-conference games over the years. That's what makes Pitt's home non-conference record so impressive. So, TAKE THAT, random message board guy!

(I really wanted to add the video of Ben Stiller from the final scene of Meet the Parents where he does that karate chop “take that” sequence, but I couldn’t find it on YouTube. This was the last sequence of the movie, right?)


Anonymous said...

I don't think you're article backs up what you are saying: Pitt has not faced a murderer's row of non-conference opponents at home.

Of Ohio State, George Mason, Florida State, Georgia, Richmond, South Carolina, Auburn, Wisconsin, Dayton, and Oklahoma State, only Ohio State and Oklahoma State would be considered regular NCAA dancers and many of the others (Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina) have sucked over the last few years.

If Pitt beats Tennessee on Saturday, and they should, then they will have proven themselves.

Anonymous said...

'Ray Bucknell