#28 Pitt Panthers: College Basketball 111 in 111

Pittsburgh cheerleader

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

After suffering through a rare season filled with struggles, the Pitt Panthers will look to end their tenure as members of the Big East Conference with a bang.  A few key newcomers should make it easier for Jamie Dixon to return to the winning ways this program has become accustomed to seeing.

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2011-2012 Big East basketball power rankings (2/17/12)

wvu cheerleaders

The biggest news involving Big East basketball this past week; Buh-bye West Virginia.  This will in fact be the Mountaineers final year as a member of the conference as they head to the Big 12.  Meanwhile, several teams have their NCAA Tournament hopes on life support and need to finish the season strong to ensure a spot in the dance.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest Big East Power Rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East basketball power rankings (2/10/12)

notre dame cheerleaders

The biggest news involving Big East basketball this past week was the announcement that Memphis will be joining the conference beginning in the 2013-2014 season.  Meanwhile, teams are beginning to separate themselves from the pact and state their claim for the NCAA Tournament.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest Big East Power Rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East basketball power rankings (2/3/12)

vander blue marquette

It seems if you are in the Big East, you are either streaking (Marquette, Notre Dame, Louisville, Pitt) or you are sliding (Cincinnati, UConn, West Virginia, Seton Hall.)  All in all, it makes for a competitive conference with several teams still having plenty of work to do on their NCAA Tournament resume.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest Big East Power Rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1/27/12)

notre dame rushes court

“Down Goes Frazier!  Down Goes Frazier!”  Syracuse suffers their first loss of the season at the hands of Notre Dame but still sits atop my latest Big East Basketball Power Rankings.  Meanwhile, Pitt wins their first game of the season while the Seton Hall slide continues.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1/20/12)

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Unbeaten Syracuse maintains their hold on the top spot in my latest Big East Basketball Power Rankings.  As has been the case early in this season, the pecking order after the Orange remains up for grabs as we have our fourth #2 team in the past four weeks.  Be sure to check back every Friday for my latest rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings (1/13/12)

syracuse orange mascot

As Paul M. Banks pointed out in his most recent Big Ten Power Rankings, “power rankings are only fun when the hierarchy is rather grey and things are up in the air.”  That properly describes the Big East this season as outside of Syracuse, there is no clear cut second best team in the conference.  Here are my latest Big East Basketball Power Rankings including the last place team being one I never thought I would ever put in the cellar.

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College Basketball’s Most Disappointing Teams This Season

xavier cincinnati fight

Since we have reached the unofficial midway point of the 2011-2012 college basketball season, we can begin to dissect which teams have gotten off to rather disappointing starts and are struggling as conference play has begun.  Here are some teams who have drastically underachieved and what has been the root of their problems.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings

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It was a bizarre Thursday night in the Big East as Pitt was upset at DePaul while Villanova got smoked by 17 at home against South Florida.  With the Panthers and Wildcats reeling to start conference play, there is some shake-up in our latest Big East Basketball Power Rankings.

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2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings

syracuse orange mascot

Last year, the Big East made history by sending 11 teams to the NCAA Tournament.  The depth of the conference was clear and obvious when a UConn team that finished with a 9-9 mark in Big East play cut down the nets.  With the league possibly entering the final year before Syracuse, Pitt, and West Virginia selfishly bolt for greener pastures (screw you, college football), the conference as a whole is down compared to what it has been in previous years.  Here are my inaugural 2011-2012 Big East Basketball Power Rankings.

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Pitt Panthers Basketball: Vastly Overrated

Pittsburgh cheerleader

Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey said his team’s victory over#22  Pittsburgh last night on his home court was one of the most fun games he has coached since coming to South Bend.

Alex Dragicevich, yes someone you haven’t heard of (unless you’re a huge college basketball nerd) hit four 3-pointers and scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Fighting Irish to a 72-59 win over the Panthers in the Big East opener for both teams.

“I have been a part of a lot of fun games here,” Brey said. “But this one ranks right up there with the best. To see us play with that swagger in the second half, I guess I just wasn’t sure this group was ready for that.”

Yes, playing Pitt is becoming “fun.”

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Big East/SEC Challenge Preview and Predictions

kentucky cheerleaders

Unlike the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, The Big East/SEC Challenge is still in its infant stages.  There is a new format this season as the battle of power conferences increases to a twelve-game schedule with teams playing host for each game rather than meeting at a neutral site which has been the case the past four years.  Since the SEC is a 12-team conference, four Big East teams (Marquette, Notre Dame, Villanova, and South Florida) are not partaking in the event.  Here are my predictions and things to watch out for as the three-day event tips off this evening.

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