The Pittsburgh Panthers were caught off guard when they were left out of the pairings of the SEC-Big East Challenge. After traveling to play the Tennessee Volunteers last season, the belief around the basketball program was that an SEC team was going to make the trip to Pittsburgh this season. Now that the pairings have been announced, the Panthers are scrambling to find a replacement opponent for that early in the season.
Athletic director Steve Pederson said that he was promised by the league that they would be in the challenge, according to ESPN's Andy Katz.
We were led to believe we had a home game all along. At no point were we told that we wouldn't get a home game. They've put us in a difficult spot. All [Pittsburgh Head Coach Jamie Dixon] and I were waiting on was who we were playing. We're very disappointed, obviously.
Big East commissioner Dan Gavitt denies that the reason for leaving Pitt out of the challenge this season was the lawsuit filed by the university to leave the Big East by 2013.