Pitt Basketball Could Bring Valparaiso to the "Pete"

Jeff BenderContributor IIJuly 5, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07:  Henry Sims #14 of the Georgetown Hoyas reaches for a loose ball against Tray Woodall #1 of the Pittsburgh Panthers during their second round game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 7, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Pitt Basketball is trying to schedule a home contest with Valparaiso after being left out of college basketball’s Big East-SEC Challenge according to ESPN’s Andy Katz.

Valparaiso will be among the preseason favorites to win the Horizon League and is well known for Bryce Drew’s last-second shot to beat Mississippi State in the 1998 NCAA Tournament.

In his blog, Katz reports that:

Pitt is still trying to fill a major home date after not getting an expected home game in the Big East-SEC Challenge. The Panthers would be wise to lock in a home game with Horizon League favorite Valparaiso. There have been talks between the two and Pitt may not get a better RPI game on the non-conference home schedule.

The Pitt Panthers basketball program needs to fill a void in its schedule after not receiving a spot in the annual Big East-SEC Challenge.

With most power conference teams having full schedules, Valparaiso could be one of the best options left for Pitt.

Valparaiso finished its season 22-12 overall and 14-4 in the Horizon League.

The Crusaders bring back all but two players for the 2012-13 season including scoring leaders Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk.

Last season, Pitt finished 27-12 overall and 5-13 against Big East opponents. The Panthers' season ended on a high note by beating Washington State in the College Basketball Invitational Championship.

Led by senior guard Tray Woodall and five-star forward recruit Steven Adams, Pitt basketball may end up in the preseason Top 25 and contend for a Big East Conference Championship.