BOSTON (Ticker) -- Second-seeded Pittsburgh takes its nine-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament on Friday when it faces No. 15 Wagner in the first round of the Midwest Region.
Pittsburgh (26-4) earned its first Big East Conference tournament championship with a 74-56 victory over Connecticut last Saturday. Brandin Knight finished with 16 points and six assists to lead the Panthers.
Knight is the team's leader and averages 10.9 points per game and was playing on a strained tendon in the championship game. Five players score in double figures for Pittsburgh, including leading scorer Julius Page and Chevy Troutman. Page is also the team's best defender while Troutman is the leading rebounder.
The No. 2 seed for Pittsburgh is the first since it was seeded second in the 1988 tournament.
Pittsburgh has never faced Wagner, although it is 56-0 against Northeast Conference opponents. The Panthers defeated Saint Francis of Pennsylvania this season and ousted Central Connecticut State in the first round last year.
Wagner (21-10) is making its first NCAA appearance. The Seahawks are coached by Dereck Whittenburg, who helped lead North Carolina State to the national championship in 1983 and is the only coach in the field who has won a national title as a player.
The best player for the Seahawks is senior forward Jermaine Hall, who averages 21.6 points and 7.2 rebounds. Hall, the Northeast Conference Player of the Year, has scored in double figures in 46 straight games.
Wagner faced a Big East opponent on one occasion this season, a 97-85 loss at Connecticut on December 7.
The winner advances to Sunday's second round to meet either Indiana or Alabama.