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Jeff Capel: Pitt Close to Adding Fifth Non-Conference Game

Jeff Capel: Pitt Close to Adding Fifth Non-Conference Game

Pitt is still looking to add one team to its 2020-21 men’s basketball slate, head coach Jeff Capel confirmed on Saturday, and that game will likely be Pitt’s next scheduled date.

Capel confirmed that the Panthers will play a fifth non-conference game after Pitt’s 83-74 victory over Drexel on Saturday. The Panthers are 1-1 after two games, but do not have another game scheduled until their Dec. 9 trip to Northwestern in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The only other game on Pitt’s slate before ACC games begin is a Dec. 12 game at the Pete against Gardner-Webb.

“I think we’re close to having a game and something should be announced here shortly, I think,” Capel said.

The Panthers will have their exams this week, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, so it seems likely that if Capel is able to schedule another game, it will be next weekend, which is currently open in Pitt’s schedule.

Pitt will play 20 ACC games for the second straight season. Under the modified rules for the 2020 season, Pitt could have scheduled as many as nine regular non-conference games and two additional games in a multi-team event, or MTE, for a total maximum of 31 games.

Pitt had originally been scheduled to play in the Myrtle Bec Invitational as its MTE. That event was first moved from Myrtle Beach to Orlando and then cancelled altogether. Pitt did not replace those games on its schedule.

It seems that around the country, many teams are not scheduling full slates with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation surrounding the 2020-21 season, though the Panthers remain on the lower end of the scale.

In the ACC, Syracuse has five non-conference games (Bryant, Niagara, Rider, Rutgers and Buffalo). Boston College, which played in the 2K Empire Classic, has seven (Villanova, Rhode Island, St. John’s Missouri, Rhode Island again, Minnesota and California).

Louisville, which is hosting its own MTE at KFC Yum! Center, also has seven (Evansville, Seton Hall, Prairie View A&M, Western Kentucky, UNC Greensboro, Wisconsin and Kentucky). Virginia Tech is down to seven games after Temple had to cancel on Saturday. The Hokies have Radford, Villanova, USF, VMI, Penn State, Coppin State and Longwood on their schedule.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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