Sam Young scored 21 points, matching Cincinnati guard Deonta Vaughn nearly shot for shot, and Pittsburgh held on to beat Cincinnati 70-64 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Big East tournament.
Ronald Ramon, who grew up in the Bronx, hit four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points for seventh-seeded Pittsburgh (23-9), which advanced to play second-seeded Louisville on Thursday. Keith Benjamin, who grew up just north of the city, added 15 points and Brooklyn's Levance Fields had 10.
"This is like our home away from home," Young said. "We've got a lot of New York guys on the team. Their families come out and support us, and they feel like they're home every time we step in the Garden."
The Panthers, who have played in the last two Big East title games and six of the last seven, will try to avenge a 75-73 home loss to Louisville in their only regular-season meeting last month. Pittsburgh has won 16 of its last 22 conference tournament games and is now 20-8 at the Garden since 2001-02, where its fans turn out in droves.