By: Mike Vukovcan

Pittsburgh (KDKA)- Pitt released its entire 31-game 2011-12 basketball schedule today.

Combining Pitt’s Big East and non-conference schedules, the Panthers will play 16 games against teams that advanced to postseason play in 2010-11 and 13 contests versus schools which appeared in the NCAA Tournament.

During its 18-game conference schedule, Pitt will play nine home games, nine away contests and face each of the 15 league opponents at least once. Additionally, Pitt will play three of those schools two times apiece (West Virginia, Louisville and USF).

Home opponents at the Petersen Events Center include Cincinnati (Jan. 1), Rutgers (Jan. 11), Louisville (Feb. 21), Providence (Jan. 25), Georgetown (Jan. 28), Villanova (Feb. 5), West Virginia (Feb. 16), USF (Feb. 19) and St. John’s (Feb. 29).

The Panthers’ 2011-12 road opponents are Notre Dame (Dec. 27), DePaul (Jan. 5), Marquette (Jan. 14), Syracuse (Jan. 16), West Virginia (Jan. 30), USF (Feb. 8), Seton Hall (Feb. 12), Louisville (Feb. 26) and Connecticut (March 3).

The schedule currently includes 15 national television appearances and 20 total televised games. ESPN College GameDay will make its second-ever visit to the Petersen Events Center prior to the Louisville contest on Saturday, Jan. 21. Live broadcast times for the ESPN College GameDay television show are 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. In addition, Pitt will appear on ESPN’s “Big Monday” coverage twice during the 2011-12 season.

Highlighting the 2011-12 non-conference schedule is a BIG EAST/SEC Challenge game at Tennessee (Saturday, Dec. 3 on ESPN) and a contest at Madison Square Garden against Oklahoma State (Saturday, Dec. 10 on ESPN2). Pitt and Duquesne meet in the annual City Game on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at the CONSOL Energy Center (7 p.m.). In addition, Pitt will host nine non-conference home games at the Petersen Events Center.

It opens regular season play against Albany on Nov. 11. Home opponents include Rider (Nov. 13), Long Beach State (Nov. 16), La Salle (Nov. 22), Robert Morris (Nov. 27), VMI (Dec. 6), South Carolina State (Dec. 17), St. Francis, Pa. (Dec. 20) and Wagner (Dec. 23).

Pitt will play four games as part of the fifth annual Philly HoopGroup Classic. On Thanksgiving weekend, the Panthers are scheduled to play Penn on Friday, Nov. 25 at the Philadelphia Palestra. Pitt’s three other HoopGroup games at the Petersen Events Center include Rider, La Salle and Robert Morris.

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