Pitt Hoops Game Preview: Pitt vs. Rutgers

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Tonight should be a fun one at the Petersen Events Center, as Pitt and Rutgers face off in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge match. The inter-conference rivalry series began last night with Miami beating Illinois and Minnesota beating Clemson.

Heading into tonight with the series even at one game apiece, Pitt plays Rutgers; Boston College plays Northwestern; Syracuse and Iowa face off; Michigan plays Louisville; Duke plays Michigan State; and Florida State plays against Indiana.

In addition to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge context, Pitt is also hosting their blackout game against Rutgers, and will be wearing the black and gold colors that are emblematic of the rest of the city of Pittsburgh’s sports teams.

Personally, I’d rather see them stick with the blue and yellow to keep building their personal brand as a university, but I get it. Every school does a blackout every year, and it’s cool to be able to do it for a nationally-televised game during a high-profile series like the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Fast Facts

  • Tonight’s matchup marks the fifth time that Pitt and Rutgers will face off this decade, with each team having won two of the four games going back to 2010. Rutgers has won each of the past two, including a win over no. 24 Pitt on Jan. 5, 2013.
  • This marks just the second time that Pitt will be unranked at the time that they face Rutgers going all the way back to 2001. Over that time, they had 11 straight contests where they were ranked when they faced Rutgers between 2002 and 2011. Man, those Big East Pitt teams were good, huh?
  • Rutgers enters tonight’s game at 6-1 with their sole loss coming against St. Bonaventure at the Naismith Classic in Toronto. In that loss, the Bonnies hit 11 of 24 three-point attempts. Pitt is unlikely to have that kind of success behind the arc tonight.
  • Rutgers’