The successful men's basketball program at the University of Pittsburgh has brought the Pittsburgh Panthers national prominence. The Pitt men's basketball team has played every year since 1910 and racked up 13 All-American players and 19 appearances in the NCAA tournament. The team's success in 2010-2011 earned the Pittsurgh Panthers a school-record tenth-consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, where they lost in the third round to Butler. 2014 marks their twelfth NCAA appearance in the past thirteen years (they failed to qualify in 2012).
Commitment, Improvement, Pride, Believe, Trust, Champions, Unselfishness, Together, Teamwork and Defense.
-- These 10 words form the foundation of the Pitt basketball program.
Atlantic Coast Conference:
The Pittsburgh Panthers left the Big East conference for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) on July 1, 2013, joining fellow former Big East powerhouse Syracuse, along with basketball giants Duke and the University of North Carolina. The Pittsburgh Panthers beat the University of North Carolina to advance to the semi-final round of the 2014 ACC tournament where they lost a close game to the eventual ACC champion, Virginia.
Big East Basketball:
Coach Jamie Dixon and his Panthers competed in the Big East basketball conference until 2013–2014 season, alongside such basketball powerhouses as Georgetown, Villanova, Connecticut, West Virginia, Syracuse and St. Johns. The Pittsburgh Panthers captured their first Big East title in 1987-88 and their second in 2007-2008. They were Big East Regular Season Champions in 2003-2004 and 2010-2011. The Pittsburgh Panthers won their first game in team history over a team ranked #1 in the AP or Coaches Poll when they defeated number one ranked, Big East rival Connecticut twice in one month: 76-68 on February 16, 2009 and 70-60 on March 7, 2009.
Key Pittsburgh Panthers Players 2013–2014:
Lamar Patterson, Talib Zanna, James Robinson, and Cameron Wright (2013–2014 Scholar Athlete of the Year)
The University of Pittsburgh:
Founded in a log cabin in 1787, the year the U.S. Constitution was adopted, the University of Pittsburgh is one of the oldest institutes of higher learning in the nation. At the Pittsburgh campus in Oakland, over 12,000 employees and 3,800 faculty serve 33,796 students, including 9,386 graduate and 24,410 undergraduate students.
Team Spirit - The Oakland Zoo:
Over 1,000 strong and dressed in yellow t-shirts displaying the words "Oakland Zoo," Pitt's student fan section is the heart and sould of Pittsburgh Panthers basketball games. Several of the Oakland Zoo traditions include "surfing" the Panthers mascot, cheering in unison, holding signs in support of the Panthers and dressing up in gorilla suits.
Team Mascot - The Panther:
The Panther was adopted as the mascot of the University of Pittsburgh in 1909. The alliteration - Pittsburgh Panthers - was nice, of course, but it was also chosen because the noble panther was the most formidable creature once indigenous to the Pittsburgh region, no other college or university currently used it as their symbol, and the panther's gold coat worked well with the University's colors (old gold and blue). Sounds like a no brainer!
Home Pittsburgh Panthers Games:
You can catch the Pittsburgh Panthers playing at home in the Petersen Events Center, located on the University's upper campus. The "Pete" holds a rowdy crowd of 12,500 and is sold out for virtually every Panthers home game. If you can't make it to the game in person, you can follow the Panthers on the radio on WTAE-AM 1250 and on 93.7 The Fan. Local television stations and national broadcast networks - such as WTAE-TV, Fox Sports Network and ESPN - often televise Pittsburgh Panthers games.
Tickets - Pittsburgh Panthers:
There's a waiting list for season tickets for Pittsburgh Panthers men's basketball, and only those who have contributed at least $1,000 to the school are eligible. Tickets for individual games are generally available, unless the opponent is West Virginia or Syracuse.