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Midnight Madness to showcase motivated Pitt basketball team

The Pitt basketball team is set to start practice on Friday night with Midnight Madness, and it is ready to put a disappointing 2011-12 campaign in the rear-view mirror. The Panthers struggled to a 5-13 Big East conference record before winning the CBI tournament to end last season.

The players are ready to improve on that result, and get back to the top of the conference in their final season as a Big East member. Head coach Jamie Dixon is armed with one of the nation's top recruiting classes, and he wants to end this season strong, according to

"We want to finish it out the right way," coach Jamie Dixon said. "That’s what we’re trying to do."

Midnight Madness festivities are set to begin at 10 p.m. ET. The event will be held outdoors, on a court along Bigelow Boulevard. It will be streamed live on ESPN3 and will be covered by ESPNU.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.