Pitt Panthers Take On GW In The First Round Of The NIT


The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team takes the court against George Washington University Tuesday, March 17 in the first round of the 78th annual National Invitation Tournament. The event gets underway at 7 p.m. at the Peterson Events Center, and it will be broadcast on ESPN.

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The Panthers finished the season 19-14 overall and 8-10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Blue and Gold were seeded No. 4 in the Region 1/Temple Quadrant. The Colonials wrapped their campaign with a 21-12 record overall and 10-8 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Buff and Blue were designated the No. 5 seed.

The winner moves on to the Second Round to meet the winner of the Temple and Bucknell match-up between March 20-23. The Owls are the No. 1 seed and the Bison are slotted at No. 8.

The quarterfinals will take place March 24 and 25. The four teams will advance to New York City for the semifinals Tuesday, March 31. The NIT Championship game is set for Thursday, April 2. The semifinal and championship contests will be played at New York’s Madison Square Garden for the 78th year.

The Panthers are making their ninth all-time appearance in the NIT. The last time the Blue and Gold participated in the NIT was in 2001 when it hosted back-to-back match-ups at Fitzgerald Field House. The first was an 84-75 win Wednesday, March 14, 2001 over the St. Bonaventure Bonnies. The second was a 66-61 loss Monday, March 19, 2001 to the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Pitt has a record of 6-8 over a total of 14 NIT games. The farthest the Panthers made it in the tournament was in 1984 when it moved into the Third Round with a pair of victories. The Blue and Gold participated in the NIT in 1964, 1975, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1992, 1997 and 2001.

At the other end of the court, it is GW’s fifth all-time appearance in the NIT. It is also marks the 16th all-time trip to either the NCAA or NIT postseason events, including 14 total berths since 1991. The last time the Colonials were in the NIT was 2004 with prior trips in 1991, 1995 and 1997.

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  • The Panthers meet the Colonials for the 27th time in series history. Pitt owns a 17-9 all-time record against George Washinton, including wins in six of the last seven match-ups. The last time these two got together on the hardwood was Saturday, Feb. 27, 1982 at Fitzgerald Field House. The two programs are former basketball members of the Eastern 8 Conference, the fore-runner of the Atlantic 10, from 1978-1982.

    The NIT is composed of 32 teams. The four highest seeds own homecourt advantage through the tournament’s first three rounds. Schools that claim conference regular season championships and are not selected to the NCAA Championship automatically qualify for the NIT. The remainder of the field is chosen as at-large participants by an eight member panel of former men’s basketball coaches and athletics administrators.

    It should also be noted that all 2015 NIT games will include two experimental rules. Teams will compete using a 30-second shot clock instead of the current 35-second shot clock. The 31 games of the NIT will also have a four-foot restricted area arc as opposed to the current three-foot arc.

    Odds: Pitt -3.5 According to both the BetOnLine Sportsbook and VegasInsider.com

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