Jan. 15, 2012
GAME 19: PITT (11-7, 0-5 Big East) at #1 SYRACUSE (19-0, 6-0 Big East)
Monday, January 16, 2012 7:30 p.m. ET
Carrier Dome (33,000) Syracuse, N.Y.
Television: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas; Producer: Bo Garrett).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-191 (Syracuse feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (227-67); Syracuse: Jim Boeheim, 35th year at SU (875-301), 35th year overall (875-301).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-NR; ESPN-NR; Syracuse: AP-1; ESPN-1 (as of Jan. 9, 2012).
Series: Pitt and Syracuse meet for the 100th time in series history. The Panthers have won each of the last five games against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. Pitt has won a series-best five consecutive games overall vs. Syracuse, 13 of its last 16 meetings and eight of its last nine meetings against Syracuse. Syracuse leads the all-time series 61-38 and holds a 33-13 record vs. Pitt in games played in Syracuse. Jamie Dixon owns a 9-2 career record vs. Syracuse.
SYRACUSE, N.Y.--Pitt plays its sixth Big East Conference game when it travels to Syracuse, N.Y. for a contest against No. 1 ranked Syracuse (19-0, 6-0 Big East) on Monday, Jan. 16. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Carrier Dome. The game is part of a two-game Pitt road swing which included a 62-59 loss at No. 25 Marquette on Saturday.
Monday's contest will be broadcast nationally on ESPN as part of its "Big Monday" package. Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas will handle play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively while Bo Garrett will produce.
No. 1 ranked Syracuse marks Pitt's second of three nationally ranked opponents. Next weekend, Pitt will host No. 14 ranked Louisville, along with ESPN College GameDay for the second time in program history. The morning show runs from 10 a.m.-noon with Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, Bob Knight and Hubert Davis. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public. The show will be broadcast on ESPNU from 10-11 a.m. ET and on ESPN from 11 a.m.-noon. The pre-game show will be aired on ESPN from 8-9 p.m. ET. Pitt will make its fifth all-time appearance on ESPN College GameDay for men's basketball.
Pitt is coming off a 62-59 loss at No. 25 Marquette on Saturday in Milwaukee. Ashton Gibbs scored a career-high 29 points (8-16 FG) and hit four 3-pointers in the loss. He also set Pitt's career 3-point field goals made record (261), surpassing Jason Matthews (259 from 1987-91). Pitt led throughout the majority of the game until Marquette used a 13-0 run on account of four Pitt turnovers to take an eight-point lead (49-41) with 7:52 to go. Pitt cut the lead to as few as three points but could not get any closer. The loss snapped Pitt's four-game win streak vs. Marquette.
For the last 11 games, Pitt has been without starting point guard Tray Woodall (12.4 ppg./7.5 apg/2.22 assist:turnover ratio), who suffered a groin/abdominal strain vs. Duquesne on Nov. 30, 2011. His status is doubtful for the Syracuse game.
Pitt has had a variety of players out with injuries including Woodall, Taylor (concussion), Ashton Gibbs (ankle), Cameron Wright (cut finger), Nasir Robinson (knee surgery). Because of the injuries, 11 different Pitt players have started and the Panthers have had six different starting lineups.
Syracuse enters Monday's game with a perfect 19-0 record, undefeated 6-0 Big East record and No. 1 national ranking. Seven Orange players average of 7.0 points per game for head coach Jim Boeheim. The Orange average 10.7 steals per game and shoot 48.7 percent (572-1175) from the floor.
MONDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is currently on a five-game win streak vs. Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. It has also won five consecutive overall games, eight of the last nine and 13 of its last 16 overall games vs. Syracuse.
Pitt has won two consecutive games against the nation's No. 1 ranked team, but is 2-13 all-time vs. the top-ranked squad.
Pitt has won 24 of its last 35 road games, completed the 2010-11 season with a school-best 7-2 Big East road slate and owns the Big East's best road record (52-35) over the last 11 seasons.
Following a loss, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 42-16 career record.
Pitt is one of only three programs nationally to win more than 20+ games, 10+ league games and advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 10 seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas and Pitt).
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has been the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (284-78, .785), league winning percentage (124-49, .717), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (10) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (10).