PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Now that the NCAA has spoken, the Oakland Zoo is going on the road to Florida.
The South Region’s No. 9 seeded Pitt Panthers will play No. 8 seed Colarado Thursday in Orlando.
This marks the 12th time in 13 seasons that Pitt was selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament.
The Panthers finished their first season in the ACC with a 25-9 overall record and were 11-7 within the conference.
Even though they’ve had better seasons and more talent, students are confident.
“I think they can beat Colorado. They definitely have a great chance,” Michael Kinney said.
“I think we’re going to show up. I think we can definitely do this,” Robert Donahoe said.
Meanwhile, fans have been lighting up the phones at the Petersen Events Center ticket office.
“We were excited because we have a great fan base down in Florida and being able to go down to Orlando was exciting for us. Our phones automatically started lighting up, the e-mails started coming through,” Assistant Athletic Director Justin Acierno said.
At least 500 fans are expected to make the trip from Pittsburgh. It all depends on the number of tickets that become available.
“We sold out of our original allotment and we’re in the process now of getting some additional tickets from the NCAA and try to get as many Pitt fans down to Orlando as we can,” Acierno said.
Fans are just hoping the 2014 Panthers won’t have an early exit.
“Hopefully, it’s just not like years in the past where they kind of come up short every year. I have high hopes for them I guess,” Drew Gordish said.
The Panthers are favored to defeat Colorado.
If they win that game, they may have to face overall No. 1 seed Florida in the next round.
Of course, we know this is March Madness and anything can happen.