Pittsburgh will be represented in both the men's and women's NCAA Basketball Tournament, with Robert Morris University and the University of Pittsburgh respectively both earning a bid, and that is bringing plenty of excitement to the city during March Madness.
"It's great to see both of those teams in the NCAA Tournament and we wish them both a lot of luck," said Steelers President Art Rooney II. "It will be exciting for all of the basketball fans."
Robert Morris' men's basketball team, led by Coach Andy Toole, won the Northeast Conference tournament and earned an automatic bid and their first trip to the tournament since 2010. They will play North Florida on Wednesday night in a play-in game at the University of Dayton Arena, with the winner facing No. 1 seed Duke in the South Region on Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Robert Morris alumnus and Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert is proud of his former school and looking forward to the madness beginning.
"The big thing is they didn't start out real strong this year and Andy kept them together and as the year went on they continued to emerge and won the Northeast Conference and got a berth in the NCAA tournament," said Colbert. "That speaks for itself. It's not a given for a school like Robert Morris, they have to earn their way in. They have to win their conference title. There is no back door entry for a school at that level. To win the conference with that at stake is impressive.
"They know the alumni are always proud of everything they are doing, especially when they overcome some adversity like they did this year."
Pitt's women's team, led by second-year coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, returns to the tournament for the first time since 2009. Pitt is a No. 10 seed and will play Chattanooga, the seventh seed, on Saturday in Knoxville, Tennessee.
"It adds to the excitement of March Madness," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "A little local flavor, somebody for us to root for, especially for those of us whose alma maters aren't in the tournament.
"It's great to see what Pitt has done, especially in the ACC, a very competitive conference. It's bringing a great brand of basketball here for us locally, for our fans. And it's awesome they are doing well. I want to wish both teams all of the best."