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Pitt to Face Northwestern in 2020 ACC-Big Ten Challenge

Pitt to Face Northwestern in 2020 ACC-Big Ten Challenge

With under a month to go before the 2020-21 NCAA basketball season begins, Pitt and the ACC still have not released their game schedules, due to continued uncertainty regarding the status of non-conference games played during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there is at least one game that the Panthers have on their schedule for this season.

Pitt will visit Northwestern in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, Pittsburgh Sports Now has confirmed. The pairings for the tournament were first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

The Panthers will face the Wildcats in back-to-back seasons, after beating Northwestern 72-59 in the Fort Myers (Fla.) Tip-Off in November. Pitt also defeated Kansas State to win that tournament.

Pitt has faced Northwestern a total of 19 times, winning nine and losing 10, but the vast majority of those matchups came in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Pitt has one each of the last three meeting, all at neutral sites, winning in the 1988 Fiesta Bowl Classic and 1996 Rainbow Classic.

This will mark Pitt’s first trip to Northwestern since 1956, with the Panthers’ only trip to Welsh-Ryan Arena, then called McGaw Memorial Hall, a 73-71 victory that year. Pitt is 6-9 all-time at Northwestern.

The Panthers beat Rutgers, 71-60 at Petersen Events Center in the 2019 Challenge. The Panthers are 3-3 all-time in the Challenge and 1-1 under head coach Jeff Capel. They lost 68-69 at Iowa in 2018.

Under Kevin Stallings Pitt did not play in 2017 and won at Maryland in 2016. Jamie Dixon led the Panthers to a 1-2 mark, losing at home to Purdue in 2015, at Indiana in 2014 and beating Penn State at home in 2013.

The 2020 ACC-Big Ten Challenge is scheduled for Dec. 8-9, but the exact date and time of Pitt’s game at Northwestern has yet to be announced.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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