Pittsburgh coach Ben Howland started laughing, maybe because he knows the joke ultimately could be on him. Howland had just been asked about being the favorite to win the Big East this season. Instant giggles. Then he answered.
"I don't think preseason polls mean that much," he said. "But it's better than being picked sixth."
That was the prediction for the Panthers last season, No. 6 -- and not sixth in the league, either. Sixth in the seven-team West Division.
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