Pitt basketball set to take on Mississippi State in First Four game of NCAA Tournament

It’s time for March Madness, and Pitt basketball is back in the big dance for the first time since 2016.

Channel 11′s Jenna Harner is in Dayton as the Panthers get set for tip-off against Mississippi State.

A chance to continue dancing is at stake for Pitt on Tuesday night, and the Panthers know the opportunity they have in front of them on a national stage.

Head coach Jeff Capel told his players earlier in the week they should never take this for granted, and they earned the chance to be part of the greatest tournament in all of sports.

Midland’s own Nelly Cummings knows how much Tuesday night not only means to the Panthers, but the city as a whole.

“Just being on this stage I think is a great opportunity for us, for our team, for our program, for the city of Pittsburgh,” said Cummings. “Everybody who’s been a part of this thing, because it’s been a long wait for this, and we’re here now.”

This is a real “pinch me” moment for a lot of the players as well. They reminisced on their favorite childhood memories of March Madness when they chatted with reporters yesterday.

But Blake Hinson has different memories.

He lost his first NCAA tournament game when he was a member of Ole Miss.

He said he remembered coming into the interview room like the one he was in yesterday and it was something that haunts him to this day.

He’s looking to change that, and create a different memory here tonight.

Tipoff is scheduled for 9:10 p.m.

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