Jan. 24, 2014
GAME 20: #20/19 PITT (17-2, 5-1 ACC) at MARYLAND (11-8, 3-3 ACC)
Saturday, January 25, 2014 6 p.m. ET
Comcast Center (17,950) College Park, Md.
Television: ESPN2 (Carter Blackburn and Sean Farnham; Producer: Matthew Bartley).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-Channel 85 (UM feed), XM-Channel 85 (UM feed).
National Radio Broadcast: ESPN Radio (Marc Kestecher and Bob Valvano).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (279-88); Maryland: Mark Turgeon, 3rd year at Maryland (53-36), 16th year overall (303-195).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-20; USA Today-19; Maryland: AP-NR; USA Today-NR.
Series: Pitt and Maryland meet for the ninth time in series history and for the second time this season. Pitt registered a 20-point victory (79-59) in the first meeting held in Pittsburgh on Jan. 6. Maryland holds a 5-3 advantage in the series. Pitt has captured each of the last two meetings, including a 79-70 victory over Maryland on Nov. 18, 2010 in the 2K Sports/Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden. Pitt visits College Park, Md. for the first time since Jan. 12, 1980.
COLLEGE PARK, Md.--No. 20/19 Pitt (17-2, 5-1 ACC) travels to College Park, Md. to play Maryland (11-8, 3-3 ACC) in a Saturday, January 25 contest at the Comcast Center. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. ET.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 with Carter Blackburn (play-by-play) and Sean Farnham (color analysis) making the call. Matthew Bartley will handle production.
At 5-1 in ACC play, Pitt enters the game in a second place tie with Virginia behind undefeated Syracuse (5-0). Maryland is tied for seventh place in the ACC standings at 3-3.
Pitt has won its 17 games by an average of 16.8 points per game. Sixteen of Pitt's 17 wins have come by nine or more points and 12 of its 17 are by 17 points or more. Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 76.0 points per game, converting 48.7 percent (508-1043) of field goals, 35.6 percent (95-267) of 3-point field goals and a stellar 72.5 percent (333-459) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-9.2 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 59.2 points per game and yielding a 39.7 (398-1002) field goal percentage. Seventeen of Pitt's 19 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and 11 have been limited to 60 points or less.
Through six Atlantic Coast Conference games, Pitt has outscored its six opponents by a plus-13.7 margin. Pitt is shooting 50.3 percent (155-308) and 42.9 percent (30-70) from 3-point range. Interestingly, the Panthers have averaged 7.3 steals per game. ACC Player of the Year/First Team candidate Lamar Patterson is averaging 18.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game and Talib Zanna averages a double-double in points (16.7) and rebounds (8.7).
Pitt is a perfect 12-0 at home this year, on a 14-game home win streak and 19-game consecutive win streak against non-conference opponents at home. In its 12th season in the Petersen Events Center, Pitt owns a 192-22 overall record in the arena and a 78-19 conference record (3-0 vs. ACC/75-19 vs. Big East). 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 travels to Maryland after registering its fourth all-time largest conference win, a 33-point, 76-43 home win over Clemson on Tuesday evening. The victory put the Panthers back in the win column after they dropped a 59-54 loss at Syracuse on Jan. 18. Talib Zanna led all scorers with his sixth career 20-point game, a 22-point, 9-10 field goal performance in only 21 minutes played, Lamar Patterson finished with 13 points (3-4 3FG) and six assists, Cameron Wright totaled 12 points, Josh Newkirk added 10 off the bench and James Robinson registered nine points, eight assists and no turnovers. Clemson was held to 32 percent shooting, while Pitt shot 56.3 percent (27-48) from the floor, 53.3 percent (8-15) from 3-point range and assisted on 24 of 27 total field goals. Pitt took control immediately and led by a substantial margin the entire game.
Since the two schools met on Jan. 6, Maryland has dropped two of its last three contest. The Terrapins, 7-2 in home games, lost at Florida State (85-61), defeated Notre Dame at home (74-66) and lost at NC State (65-56). Maryland is led by Dez Wells (14.3 ppg./4.8 rpg.), Jake Layman (12.2 ppg.), Evan Smotrycz (11.7 ppg./6.8 rpg.), Seth Allen (10.3 ppg.) and Nick Faust (10.2 ppg.).
SATURDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Lamar Patterson has emerged as a national player of the year candidate (Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List) and an ACC Player of the Year candidate.
Pitt plays its fifth road game of the 2013-14 season. Pitt has claimed four of its last five road games, eight of its last 11 road games and compiled one of the Big East's best road records (59-43, 57.8%) over the last 12 seasons.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 16-0 record vs. previous ACC teams and a 32-11 overall record vs. current ACC teams (including Syracuse and Notre Dame).
With a win Saturday, Dixon will move into a tie for fourth place on the NCAA's all-time Division I coaching wins list after 11 years as a head coach (see chart on page 5).
When comparing ACC basketball programs over the last 13 years, Pitt ranks second among league programs in overall winning percentage (336-98, .774), league winning percentage (146-64, .695), homecourt winning percentage (.897) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).