Big East: Year Of The Panther

By - October 25, 2006

Pittsburgh has taken center stage at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Here at Big East media day, the Panthers were selected by the league's head coaches to win the conference championship for just the third time in league history. Seven-footer Aaron Gray, Pitt's linchpin in the pivot, was named Preseason Player of the Year.

The Panthers were also chosen to take home the title in 1987-88 and 2002-03. Both times, they would make good on the preseason prediction and win the regular-season championship.

Jamie Dixon's team returns eight of his top 10 players from a ballclub that went 25-8 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Georgetown was tabbed for second place while Syracuse and Marquette fell third and fourth, respectively. The complete predicted order of finish is as follows:

1. Pittsburgh (10 first-place votes)
2. Georgetown (4)
3. Syracuse (1)
4. Marquette (1)
5. Connecticut
6. Louisville
7. Villanova
8. DePaul
9. St. John's
10. Providence
11. Notre Dame
12. West Virginia
13. Cincinnati
14. Rutgers
15. Seton Hall
16. USF

More to come shortly from the Theater at MSG.

Posted by at 01:18 PM on October 25, 2006

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