Atlantic Coast Conference champion Pittsburgh and Penn State were selected as the No. 6 and 11 national seeds, respectively, and will host first and second round games next weekend as the NCAA Tournament bracket was released on Sunday.
Pitt (29-1, 18-0 ACC) will take on Howard (20-12), the five-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champ, at 7 p.m. Friday at Petersen Events Center. Cincinnati (25-6) and Virginia Commonwealth (24-6) will face off in Friday’s first match at 4 p.m. The winners of Friday’s matches will meet in the second round at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Panthers earned a No. 6 seed, marking their highest NCAA Tournament placement in program history. Pitt earned the ACC’s automatic bid to the tournament by winning the league’s 2019 championship title. The Panthers became the first team since Georgia Tech in 2004 to go unbeaten in the conference schedule (18-0).
This marks the Panthers’ fourth consecutive appearance in the tournament and their 15th appearance in program history.
Penn State (24-5, 17-3 Big Ten) will play Ivy League champion Princeton (17-7) at 7:30 p.m. Friday inside Rec Hall. The other match will feature Patriot League champion American (24-7) against Colonial Athletic Association champ Towson (28-2) at 5 p.m. The winners of each match will play each other on Saturday.
Penn State is playing in the NCAA Tournament for the 39th consecutive season. It joins Stanford as the only two programs to play in every NCAA Tournament, while Russ Rose is the only head coach to appear in all 39. Rose is also the all-time leader in NCAA Tournament wins with 101.
If Penn State and Pitt both go 2-0 next weekend, they will meet in the regional semifinals on Dec. 13.
The Final Four will take place at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Dec. 19 and 21.