Big East Basketball: Pitt Panthers Will Contend for Big East Title in 2012-13

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Big East Basketball: Pitt Panthers Will Contend for Big East Title in 2012-13
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Jamie Dixon and the Pitt Panthers slugged their way through a painful 2011-12 campaign.

Last year was the first time that the Panthers have not made it into the NCAA tournament on Dixon's nine-year watch.

The Panthers only won five of their 18 Big East regular-season games—the first time that Pitt had not won at least 10 conference games since the 2000-01 season.

If Pitt had not won five of their last six games (in the college basketball invitational (CBI) tournament), they could have finished with a dismal .500 season.

With all of this gloom and doom, you might think that the outlook for the upcoming season may not be so bright. Not true.

To put it simply: Last season was a fluke. A glitch. An anomaly. 

In fact, Pitt will be right back in the mix of things in the 2012-13 season.

Here are five reasons why Pitt will go from finishing No. 13 in the conference to contending for the Big East title.

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