The Dagger - NCAAB

The dormant Penn State-Pittsburgh football rivalry likely won't resume anytime soon, but new Nittany Lions coach Pat Chambers is hoping to offer impatient fans a consolation prize.

He'd like to revive the series with Pittsburgh in basketball.

"I would like a rivalry," Chambers told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week. "I think [Pitt] would be great. I think Pennsylvania would come out and watch that game.

"Am I trying to schedule that game next year? Probably not. But in the future? Yes."

Pittsburgh and Penn State last played in basketball in 2005, a lopsided 91-54 Panthers victory that prompted former Nittany Lions coach Ed DeChellis to abruptly cancel the series. Penn State holds a 78-66 all-time edge, but it has lost five straight in the series overall since a victory over Pittsburgh in 2000.

For the series to even approach the level of Pennsylvania's other great non-conference rivalries like the Big Five or even Pittsburgh-Duquesne, Penn State needs to improve its program. The Nittany Lions reached the NCAA tournament last season and won the NIT in 2009, but DeChellis left Chambers with so little talent that Penn State may struggle to be competitive in the Big Ten next season.

That's why Chambers' plan to wait a couple years before approaching Pittsburgh about renewing the series makes sense.

Perhaps by then, Penn State will be on the rise again and a home-and-home between two of the state's most prominent programs will make sense for both parties.

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