Pitt women’s, men’s basketball announce 2021-22 conference schedules

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The Atlantic Coast Conference released its 2021-22 basketball league schedules this week. Pitt men’s and women’s basketball will both host high-profile visitors at the Pete.

By Stephen Thompson, Sports Editor

The Atlantic Coast Conference released its 2021-22 basketball league schedules this week. Both men’s and women’s basketball will try to improve on losing seasons from a year ago, but the always-difficult conference schedules will pose formidable challenges. 

The women’s slate, announced Wednesday, features back-to-back games against 2021 NCAA Tournament teams in the U.S. Virgin Islands around Thanksgiving, a visit from an ACC foe that concluded the season at No. 3 in the AP top 25 and a home-and-home series with an Elite Eight team from last year. 

 

Lance White and company will tip off the 2021-22 campaign on Nov. 10 at the Petersen Events Center against Radford. The season opener is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will air on ACC Network Extra. 

After a couple of non-conference matchups vs. Lafayette College and Long Island University, Pitt will make the short trip down Fifth Avenue to play the City Game. Cross-town rival Duquesne will host the Panthers at the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse on Nov. 20 for an 8 p.m. tipoff. Afterwards, they will head to St. Thomas to face Texas A&M and Northwestern in the Paradise Jam on Nov. 25 and 26.

Pitt will welcome Rutgers to the Pete on Dec. 1 as part of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. The game will air on ACC Network with a start time to be determined. 

The Panthers draw a tall task in their ACC opener. NC State, winners of the last two ACC championships, visit the Pete on Dec. 10. ACC Network will carry the game, with tip-off time pending. The Panthers will play 18 conference games in total, including two against Louisville — who finished in the top 10 of the final AP top 25 poll and made it to the Elite Eight — on the road on Jan. 6 and at home on Feb. 24. 

Former Notre Dame head coach and two-time national title winner, Muffet McGraw sang the Panthers’ praises during the schedule reveal special on the ACC Network Wednesday night. 

“I like the way they challenged themselves in the non-conference,” McGraw said. “This is a 3-12 team that played so much better than their record.”

The ACC revealed the men’s basketball schedule Thursday night and the Panthers will get some quality home opponents as well. And of their 20 conference games, each will air on either ACC Network, ESPN2 or ESPNU. 

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The start of conference play has been bumped up by about a month. Instead of playing solely outside of the ACC until after the New Year like they have in the past, the Panthers will open their conference slate on Dec. 3 vs. Virginia. 

The Panthers’ most difficult stretch of the season comes in mid-January. From Jan. 11-25, Pitt must play at Syracuse, then at home against Lousiville and Virginia in consecutive games before going on the road to face Clemson and returning home for another date with the Orange. 

Mike Krzyzewski, the 15-time ACC Tournament and five-time national champion-winning head coach of the Duke Blue Devils, will visit Pittsburgh on March 1. Krzyzewski announced last spring that he will retire at the end of this season, meaning that this game will be the future Hall of Famer’s last ACC road contest, and it will come against his protégé — Pitt head coach Jeff Capel. Panthers-Blue Devils will air on ACC Network at 8 p.m. 

Pitt will play six home-and-home series vs. Virginia, Syracuse, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame and Boston College. The Panthers will also host Duke, Georgia Tech, NC State and Miami once each and play only road games against North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson and Wake Forest.

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