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Jan. 23, 2011

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GAME 21: #16 NOTRE DAME (16-4, 5-3 Big East) at #5 PITT (19-1, 7-0 Big East)


Monday, January 24, 2011 • 7 p.m. ET

Petersen Events Center (12,508) • Pittsburgh, Pa.





Television: ESPN Big Monday (Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas; Producer: Bo Garrett).


Radio: Panther Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 122; XM: 143 (Pitt feed).


Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats:



The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th year as head coach (207-55); Notre Dame: Mike Brey, 11th year at Notre Dame (227-117), 16th year overall (326-169).



Rankings: Pitt: AP-5; ESPN-4. Notre Dame: AP-16; ESPN-16 (as of Jan. 17, 2011).



Series: Pitt and Notre Dame meet for the 56th time with the Fighting Irish holding a 28-27 advantage. Notre Dame has claimed three of the last four meetings and each of the last two matchups including a 68-53 win on Feb. 24, 2010 in South Bend and a 50-45 win on March 11, 2010. Pitt is 5-0 vs. UND at the Petersen Events Center and has won seven of the last 11 meetings.




PITTSBURGH--No. 5/4 ranked Pitt (19-1, 7-0 Big East) hosts No. 16 Notre Dame (16-4, 5-3 Big East) for a Monday, January 24 contest at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.


The "Big Monday" game will be nationally televised on ESPN with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas calling action. Bo Garrett will handle production.


Notre Dame represents Pitt's fifth ranked opponent of the year as the Panthers are 3-1 vs. top-25 teams. Pitt owns a 14-4 all-time record vs. top-25 opponents at the Petersen Events Center. The contest marks the 18th matchup involving two ranked teams at the Petersen Events Center as the Panthers are 14-3 in those contests.


Riding a nine-game win streak and 20-game home win streak, Pitt enters the game following an 80-50 win at DePaul on Saturday. The Panthers improved to 7-0 and won their 16th of their last 22 road games. Pitt's 19-1 record ranks tied for the second-best start in school history after 20 games. Pitt went 20-0 en route to a perfect 21-0 season and eventual mythical national championship in 1927-28. Pitt also defeated No. 3 Syracuse last week on "Big Monday," a 74-66 victory. Pitt scored the game's first 19 points and Syracuse followed with a 17-point run. Pitt led the rest of the way and coasted to the win. The win improved Pitt to 9-0 vs. top-5 ranked teams in the Petersen Events Center. The win also gave Pitt a perfect 6-0 start to Big East regular season play for the first time in school history. Previously, the best league start in school history was 5-0 in three other seasons: 2002-03, 2006-07 and 2009-10. So far, Pitt has claimed victories over No. 3 Syracuse, Seton Hall, at No. 22 Georgetown, vs. Marquette (89-81), No. 4 Connecticut (78-63) and at Providence (83-79). Pitt enters the weekend with an RPI rating of No. 5 nationally.


Pitt is also riding a nine-game win streak and a 10-game Big East regular season win streak, which ties for the third longest of its kind in school history (see chart page 7). The school record is 12 straight Big East regular season wins set from Feb. 2, 2002-Jan. 25, 2003.


Notre Dame has defeated Pitt in each of the last two meetings and in three of the last four series games. The Fighting Irish own a 28-27 advantage in the series. Since the 2002-03 season, Pitt has won seven of the past 11 meetings. In addition, Pitt owns a 17-8 all-time record vs. Notre Dame at home and is 5-0 vs. the Irish in the Petersen Events Center.


Additionally, a win over Notre Dame would also give Pitt its 10th consecutive 20-win season. A win will give Jamie Dixon his eighth consecutive 20-win season at Pitt. He is the only coach to achieve seven consecutive 20-win seasons. Over the last 10 years, Pitt has proven to be the winningest basketball program in the Big East Conference and one of the nation's top-5 winningest programs (see chart page 3). From 2001-10, Pitt owns the league's top record in both overall games (264-66) and league games (116-41). It has averaged 12.0 league wins and 27.0 overall wins per year during that period. Pitt is the only Big East Conference school to win 20 or more overall games and 10 or more league contests in each of the last nine seasons. Pitt's streak of nine consecutive 10-win Big East regular seasons ranks second only to Syracuse's run of 11 10-plus win league seasons set from 1985-96. Pitt has now won 20 or more games 17 times in school history. In addition, Pitt is one of only three programs nationwide to advance to the NCAA Tournament, win 20 overall games and 10 league games in each of the last nine seasons. Those programs include Gonzaga, Kansas and Pitt. In addition, Jamie Dixon became the first head coach in program history to win 20-plus games in seven straight years. He is the only coach in school history to guide Pitt to a 30-win season (two times: 31 in 2003-04 and 30 in 2008-09).




•At 7-0, Pitt is off to its best-ever start to a Big East regular season. Pitt's 19-1 record after 20 games ties for its second all-time best overall start in school history.


•Riding a nine-game win streak, Pitt enters its matchup vs. Notre Dame on a 10-game Big East regular season win streak.


•Pitt is 3-1 vs. top-25 ranked teams this year and owns a 14-4 all-time record vs. top-25 teams at the Petersen Events Center.


•Pitt is in its ninth season at the Petersen Events Center and carries a 145-11 record (.929 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 61-10 record vs. Big East opponents at the PEC. Riding a 20-game home win streak, Pitt is 13-0 at home this year and has won 51 of its last 52 home games.


•Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (264-66, .800), league winning percentage (116-41, .739), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (9) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (9).

No. 5 Men's Basketball Hosts No. 16 Notre Dame on Monday at 7 p.m.

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