For the first time since 1965, Pitt and Duquesne will not play in the 2019-20 season, both programs announced on Thursday evening.
Pittsburgh Sports Now reported on Wednesday that the schools had reached an impasse in attempting to schedule the game.
The schools announced their intentions to resume the series on a two-year contract beginning in 2020-21, with Pitt acknowledging its role in the series not being played in 2019.
“The City Game is a time honored basketball tradition in the city of Pittsburgh,” Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke said. “Unfortunately, our men’s basketball scheduling dynamics will not allow us to play the game in 2019. We look forward to resuming the game with great anticipation in 2020 and 2021.”
Pitt’s press release pointed to the expanded 20-game ACC schedule that includes a Nov. 6 home opener against Florida State, a Nov. 12 road contest at Robert Morris to open the Colonials’ new UPMC Events Center, the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and Pitt’s trip to the Fort Myers Tip-Off in Florida on Nov. 25-27 as reasons for the schedule not working this season.
Duquesne’s concurrent release highlighted the Dukes’ contribution to the scheduling issue. Duquesne also playing most of its home schedule at PPG Paints Arena as A.J. Palumbo Center will be re-constructed into UPMC Chuck Cooper Fieldhouse for the 2020-21 season.
“We are pleased to work with the University of Pittsburgh and our valued partners at PPG Paints Arena to continue the City Game in 2020 and 2021,” said Duquesne athletic director Dave Harper. “The very title ‘City Game’ is profound. This is a game for the city of Pittsburgh and its sports fans. It is an event circled on calendars each year. Duquesne is fully committed to participating in this game long term and honored to be part of this event for the city. We look forward to building the stature of the game and continuing to intensify the game as both programs continue on an upward trajectory.”
The City Game has been played 87 times since 1932. The last break in the series came when the teams did not meet between 1963 and 1966. Pitt holds a 74-53 lead in the all-time series and has won nine of the last 10.
Pitt won, 74-53, in the 2018 contest, with freshman guard Trey McGowens scoring 14 points to lead the Panthers. Duquesne last won the game in 2016.