Jan. 15, 2013
GAME 18: PITT (13-4, 1-3 Big East) at VILLANOVA (11-5, 2-1 Big East)
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 7 p.m. ET The Pavilion (6,500) Villanova, Pa.
Television: ESPNU (Adam Amin and Tim Welsh; Producer: Todd Jones).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-93 (Villanova feed), XM-N/A (Pitt feed).
Big East/IMG Radio National Broadcast: Brock Bowling and John Celestand.
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 14th year at Pitt, 10th year as head coach (251-81); Villanova: Jay Wright, 12th year at VU (248-135), 19th year overall (370-220).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV; Villanova: AP-NR; ESPN-NR.
Series: Pitt and Villanova meet for the 64th time in series history with Villanova holding a slim 32-31 all-time advantage. Pitt has won each of the last four matchups between the two schools. In addition, Pitt is 5-9 all-time in games played at Villanova's Pavilion with the last matchup being a 57-54 Pitt win on Feb. 12, 2011.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (13-4, 1-3 Big East) travels to Philadelphia, Pa. to play Villanova (11-5, 2-1 Big East) for a Wednesday, January 16 matchup. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
The contest will be nationally televised on ESPNU with Adam Amin and Tim Welsh making the call. Todd Jones will handle production.
The game marks the final Big East Conference matchup played at Villanova before Pitt departs for the Atlantic Coast Conference next year. The two schools meet for the final regular season game on March 9 at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt enters Wednesday's game after dropping a 74-67 overtime decision to Marquette at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt trailed for the majority of regulation, battled back and sent the game into overtime when Lamar Patterson converted a 3-pointer at the top of the key as the buzzer sounded. In overtime, Marquette grabbed an early lead with an 8-2 spurt and outscored Pitt 17-10 to register the win. Patterson led Pitt with a career-high 22 points and 6-7 3-point shooting.
Following back-to-back losses to open Big East play, Pitt responded with a 28-point victory (73-45) at No. 19 Georgetown on Tuesday night. The 28-point victory represented Pitt's second largest Big East road win in school history. Pitt led by as many as 30 points late in the second half. The Panthers held Georgetown to only 45 points on 35.1 percent (13-37) shooting and outrebounded the Hoyas 30-23. Talib Zanna led the Panthers with 15 points and Tray Woodall contributed 11 points and seven assists. Pitt jumped out to an early lead en route to a 15-point halftime lead (37-22). Pitt improved to 1-2 vs. nationally ranked teams on the year.
Pitt has accomplished its 13-4 record with total team effort while utilizing a 10-man rotation. All 10 of its players are averaging 4.2 points or more and all 10 are playing at least 11.9 minutes per game. Through its first 17 games, Pitt has outscored its opponents by a plus-19.0 margin, shot 49.9 percent (469-939) from the floor and outrebounded its opponents by plus-7.5 boards per game. Pitt has forced 14.2 turnovers per game and totaled 117 steals for a 6.9 steals per game average, numbers that are uncommonly high for the Panthers. Pitt has also dominated the inside, having outscored its opponents 612-356 in the paint. The Panthers' bench also has outscored their opponents by a 452-249 total. Additionally, Pitt has assisted on 66.5 percent (312 of 469) of its total field goals.
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings (as of Jan. 10, 2013), Pitt ranks among the nation's top-20 teams in eight statistical categories: 5th in scoring defense, 5th in scoring margin, 8th in field goal percentage, 3rd in assists per game, 1st in assist:turnover ratio, 4th in fewest turnovers per game and 11th in turnover margin.
Villanova enters the game with an 11-5 overall record and 2-1 Big East slate. The Wildcats are led by JayVaughan Pinkston (13.3 ppg.) and Ryan Arcidiacono (12.1 ppg.).
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt travels to Philadelphia, Pa. to play Villanova for the final time in Big East regular season history. The two schools have played 63 times dating back to Feb. 11, 1960. Fourteen of those games have been played at the Pavilion.
Pitt has claimed 27 of its last 45 road games and owns one of the Big East's top road records (54-41) over the last 12 seasons. Pitt is 1-1 on the road this year.
Over the last 12 years, Pitt has been the Big East Conference's leader in overall winning percentage (308-91, .772), league winning percentage (130-60, .684), Big East Championships (six), Big East Tournament wins (20) and NCAA Tournament appearances (10).