Jan. 3, 2014
GAME 14: PITT (12-1, 0-0 ACC) at NORTH CAROLINA STATE (10-3, 0-0 ACC)
Saturday, January 4, 2014 Noon ET
PNC Arena (19,772) Raleigh, N.C.
Television: ACC Network/WTAE (Mike Hogewood, Cory Alexander; Producer: Alex Farmartino).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-Channel 92 (Pitt feed), XM-Channel 190 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (274-87); NC State: Mark Gottfried, 3rd year at NC State (58-27), 17th year overall (336-182).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; USA Today-ARV; NC State: AP-NR; USA Today-NR.
Series: Pitt and NC State meet for the 11th time in men's basketball. NC State holds a 9-1 advantage in the series which began in 1948. The last time the two schools met was on Dec. 2, 1991 in the ACC/Big East Challenge in Hartford, Conn., a 78-77 NC State win. The most notable meeting between the two schools was in the NCAA Tournament on March 16, 1974, a 100-72 NC State win. Pitt plays at NC State for the first time in 40 years.
RALEIGH, N.C.--Pitt (12-1, 0-0 ACC) plays its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference game and begins ACC regular season play when it travels to North Carolina State (10-3, 0-0 ACC) for a Saturday, January 4 contest at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. Tipoff is at noon ET.
The game will be televised by the ACC Television Network and broadcast locally on WTAE-TV (Channel 4) with Mike Hogewood (play-by-play) and former Virginia star Cory Alexander (color analysis) making the call. Alex Farmartino will handle production.
Pitt has won its 12 games by an average of 18.3 points per game margin and 10 of its 12 by 17 points or more. Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 76.9 points per game, converting 48.0 percent (353-735) of field goals, 33.0 percent (65-197) of 3-point field goals and an amazing school-record pace of 74.6 percent (229-307) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-10.4 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 58.6 points per game and yielding a 39.5 percent (273-691) field goal percentage. Twelve of Pitt's 13 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and eight have scored 60 points or less.
Pitt plays its first road game of the year. The Panthers have enjoyed recent success on the road as they have claimed each of their last three consecutive road games, along with six of their last eight road contests. Pitt has amassed a .578 Big East road winning percentage in the last 12 seasons (59-43).
Pitt is 9-0 at home this year, on an 11-game home win streak and 19-game consecutive win streak against non-conference opponents at home. Pitt also owns a 110-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center and has won 131 of its last 135 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
Pitt opens ACC regular season play after defeating Albany, 58-46, in its final non-conference game. With a 14-point, eight-rebound and eight-assist day, Cameron Wright sparked the Panthers as he scored eight points during a 12-0 run to close out the first half. Lamar Patterson added 14 points and Talib Zanna chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds in the win.
North Carolina State enters Saturday's ACC regular season opener after winning eight of its last nine games. NC State's three losses have come to Missouri (68-64), North Carolina Central (82-72 in OT) and at Cincinnati (68-57). Head Coach Mark Gottfried's Wolfpack are led by T.J. Warren, who leads the ACC in scoring at 23.9 points per game. He also averages 7.8 rebounds per contest. Anthony Barber (12.2 ppg.) and Desmond Lee (10.8 ppg.) also also key performers. Pitt plays its first game in Raleigh, N.C. in 40 years and since a Dec. 28, 1974 contest at NC State.
SATURDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt begins its highly-anticipated inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference with its first game in league play at NC State on Saturday. Pitt hosts its first ACC home game on Monday, Jan. 6 when it hosts Maryland.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon enters ACC play with an 11-0 record vs. ACC teams and a 27-10 overall record vs. current ACC teams (including Syracuse, Notre Dame).
With its 12-1 record, Pitt has currently amassed the second most wins in the ACC.
Pitt plays its first road game of the 2013-14 season. Pitt has claimed each of its last three road games, six of its last eight road games and compiled one of the Big East's best road records (59-43, .578%) over the last 12 seasons.
When comparing ACC basketball programs over the last 13 years, Pitt ranks second among league programs in overall winning percentage (331-97, .773), league winning percentage (141-63, .691), homecourt winning percentage (.896) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).