December 15, 2006
Toughest test yet
The Pitt men's basketball team has done well for itself so far in the 2006-07 season, opening its fourth consecutive year with a 10-0 record and holding the number two spot in both national polls for back-to-back weeks. The Panthers have won at home, on neutral courts, and twice on the road, including last Saturday's come-from-behind victory over Buffalo.
All of that could be in jeopardy, though, when Pitt takes the court tomorrow in Wisconsin. The Badgers are 10-1 and ranked seventh in both polls, and if either team is looking for a statement game, this is it.
For Pitt, this will be the team's highest ranked non-conference road opponent since the Panthers played at (and lost to) #5 UMass in 1994. For Wisconsin, this will be the Badgers' first regular season game in school history between two teams ranked in the AP top ten; the only other time Wisconsin faced a top ten team while ranked in the top ten was when the Badgers (ranked 10th) faced the Panthers (ranked 9th) in the NCAA tournament in 2004.
Pitt won that post-season game in a hostile environment (the game was played in Milwaukee), but Saturday's trip to Madison will be even tougher, as the Badgers, particularly under Bo Ryan, boast one of the nation's toughest home court advantages.
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