Pitt will face Kansas State in one of the semifinal games of the 2019 Fort Myers Tipoff, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported on Tuesday, giving the Panthers at least three non-conference games against major conference opponents, with the potential for more.
Northwestern and Bradley will play in the other semifinal. Both of those games are scheduled for Nov. 25 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Florida. The winners of the semifinal games will meet in the final on Nov. 27, with the losers playing in consolation game beforehand. So Pitt could face Northwestern for yet another Power Five game on the schedule.
Kansas State finished 20 in KenPom.com’s combined efficiency rating last year, while Northwestern was 74 and Bradley 161. Pitt was 101.
Bradley and Kansas State both made the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Braves were a No. 15 seed that lost to Michigan State in the first round. The No. 4-seed Wildcats were upset by UC Irvine in the first round. Northwestern finished 13-19 and in last place in the Big Ten with a 4-16 record.
Pitt has already announced another game against a major conference opponent, as the Panthers will host Rutgers in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 3. Pitt also will be in the third year of a four-year contract with West Virginia in 2019, with the Mountaineers coming to Pittsburgh on November 15.
Pitt finished 14-19 in head coach Jeff Capel’s first season in 2018-19, with a 3-15 record in ACC play to finish tied for 14th in the 15-team conference.
The Panthers played just two major conference opponents in their non-conference schedule last season, visiting Iowa and West Virginia. They played three such games in 2017-18, when they hosted West Virginia and played Oklahoma State and Penn State in neutral-site games. They played four tough opponents in 2016-17, facing Marquette, Maryland, Penn State and SMU.
Here are the details of the Pitt basketball schedule that have been released so far: