Pitt draws Indiana in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

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Pitt will play at Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge basketball series next season, the conferences announced Thursday.

The game will be Dec. 2. The time and television information will be announced later.

The Panthers are 4-4 all time against the Hoosiers but the two teams have only played twice since 1941, the most recent time the Panthers visited Bloomington.

Pitt beat Indiana, 74-52, in an NCAA tournament second-round game in 2003 in Boston but lost to the Hoosiers in 2009, 74-64, in a Jimmy V. Classic game at Madison Square Garden.

“I’m excited about the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and I am really looking forward to playing a great Indiana program,” coach Jamie Dixon said. “When I looked at the teams that were on the road and the teams who were home last year, I anticipated this may be the matchup we got. So it is great to be a part of this event because I think it is a great thing for college basketball.”

Dixon also said that it is good for future non-conference scheduling that he knows what cycle they are on (home odd years, away even years) for the Challenge. He said it will enable him to go schedule home-and-home with major conference foes in order to balance out the schedule each year and ensure there are at least nine home games.

With this road game against Indiana; a trip to the Maui Classic, where possible matchups with Arizona, BYU, Kansas State and Missouri loom; and another possible trip to New York City, for a neutral site game; the Panthers non-conference schedule should be much stronger than it was last season.

Pitt played host to Penn State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge last year; the two conferences played to a 7-7 draw. Penn State will play Virginia Tech next season.

Next season’s event will be highlighted by Duke at Wisconsin, Syracuse at Michigan, Ohio State at Louisville (which is joining the ACC next season), Iowa at North Carolina and Maryland (which is joining the Big Ten) playing host to Virginia.

Paul Zeise: pzeise@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1720 and Twitter @paulzeise.

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