Pitt releases 2013-14 basketball schedule

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Pitt released its 31-game men's basketball schedule and among the highlights are two trips to New York, a home date with rival Penn State and nationally televised home dates against national powerhouses Duke and Syracuse.

Pitt will play 16 games on national television, 18 ACC game, 18 home games, nine road games and four games at neutral courts.

The Panthers will play every ACC opponent at least once and will play four conference teams - Clemson, Maryland, North Carolina State and Syracuse -- twice.

Pitt's ACC home games are against Clemson (Jan. 21), Duke (Jan. 27), Florida State (Feb. 23), Maryland (Jan. 6), North Carolina State (March 3), Syracuse (Feb. 12), Virginia (Feb. 2), Virginia Tech (Feb. 8) and Wake Forest (Jan. 11).

The Panthers will travel to play conference games at Boston College (Feb. 26), Clemson (March 8), Georgia Tech (Jan. 14), Maryland (Jan. 25), Miami (Feb. 5), North Carolina (Feb. 15), North Carolina State (Jan. 4), Notre Dame (March 1) and Syracuse (Jan. 18).

Dixon said the conference schedule is new and therefore exciting to fans but provides many of the same challenges -- and big name opponents - the Panthers had in the Big East.

"It is more of the same in terms of being a part of the best conference in the country, some are saying the best collection of teams in history," Dixon said. ""Our non-conference schedule covers a lot of the things we needed to get done, it enabled us to play some rivalry games in Duquesne and Penn State and play some different styles of teams and of course play in some great tournaments as well.

"I think it is great when you look at the names of the teams and realize what some of them have accomplished in terms of winning over the course of the last 100 years of college basketball. And I think that playing on national television is something you can never take for granted so it says a lot about what we are trying to accomplish that we have so many opportunities."

. Pitt's first trip to New York will be Nov. 25-26 when the Panthers compete in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Pitt will play Texas Tech on Nov. 25 then either Stanford or Houston on Nov. 26 in consolation or championship game.

The Panthers second trip to New York City will be on Dec. 17th when they play Cincinnati as part of the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET) as part of a doubleheader that will also feature Florida against Memphis.

"We are going to try to continue to play in New York City as much as we can," Dixon said. "I think part of that is the best events are in New York and the fact that we've been invited to play in two of them this year is great for our program. We already have a couple more events were slotted to play in New York the next few years so it is something we will do whenever it makes sense."

Pitt plays exhibition games against U.C.-San Diego (Oct. 25) and Slippery Rock (Npv. 1) then opens the regular season at home against Savannah State on Nov. 8.

The Panthers will play eight other non-conference games at home against Fresno State (Nov. 12), Howard (Legends Classic, Nov. 17), Lehigh (Legends Classic, Nov. 20), Penn State (Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Dec. 3), Loyola Marymount (Dec. 6), Youngstown State (Dec. 14), Cal-Poly (Dec. 21) and Albany (Dec. 31).

Pitt will play its annual City Game against Duquesne at Consol Energy Center Saturday Nov. 30 but will not play Robert Morris, a fact Dixon said was beyond his control.

"You can't play everybody and sometimes things just don't work out," Dixon said. "The reality is it isn't easy to schedule games and things come up. We'd like to play Robert Morris and we'd like to play Penn State but it doesn't always work out so you just try to do the best you can do."

The 61st annual Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament is scheduled for March 12-16 at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum. The 2014 NCAA Tournament begins March 20-23

The Panthers return three starters from a team that finished 24-9 overall and advanced to their 11th NCAA Tournament in the last 12 seasons.

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