Jan. 27, 2013
GAME 22: PITT (17-4, 5-3 Big East) at #5 LOUISVILLE (16-4, 4-3 Big East)
Monday, January 28, 2013 7 p.m. ET KFC Yum! Center (22,090) Louisville, Ky.
Television: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas; Producer: Bo Garrett).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-N/A, XM-N/A.
National Radio: IMG National Radio (Brock Bowling, John Celestand), Sirius-91; XM-91.
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 14th year at Pitt, 10th year as head coach (255-81); Louisville: Rick Pitino, 12th year at UL (291-110), 29th year overall (645-238).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; ESPN-ARV; Louisville: AP-5; ESPN-5 (as of Jan. 21, 2013).
Series: Pitt and Louisville meet for the 13th time. UL holds a 7-5 advantage in the series dating back to 1947. UL enters the game on a three-game win streak vs. Pitt including two wins over the Panthers in Kentucky. Pitt is 0-2 vs. the Cardinals in the KFC Yum! Center and 1-4 on the road vs. UL. Since UL joined the BEC, 10 of the 11 games have been decided by 10 points or less.
PITTSBURGH--Riding a four game win streak and three-game road win streak, Pitt (17-4, 5-3 Big East) travels to Kentucky to take on No. 5 Louisville (16-4, 4-3 Big East) in a Monday, January 28 matchup. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.
The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN for its "Big Monday" package. Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas will make the call while Bo Garrett will handle production.
Following a 1-3 start to Big East play, Pitt has used its four-game win streak to vault into third place in the league behind Syracuse (6-1) and Marquette (5-1). Winners of five of its last six games, Pitt has already won more overall games (17) and as many Big East Conference games (5) as it did last season when it finished the 2011-12 regular season with a 16-15 record and 5-13 league slate. Pitt is also on a three-game road win streak which includes consecutive victories over No. 19 Georgetown, Villanova and Providence. A win on Monday night would give Pitt its fourth straight road victory, a mark that would rank among the program's top eight longest league road win streaks in school history (see chart on page 7). Pitt's current four-game Big East win streak ties for the 12th longest BEC win streak in school history (see chart page 2).
Pitt enters Monday's matchup after registering its largest-ever win in Big East regular season history, a 38-point home win over DePaul (93-55) at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt outscored DePaul 21-4 over a five-minute first half stretch to take command. At halftime it led by 23 points (53-30). Pitt set team season-highs for points (93), rebounds (58) and field goal attempts (71) and outrebounded the Blue Demons by 24 boards (58-34). Trey Zeigler scored a Pitt career-high 18 points (7-12 FG) and all 10 players who saw action scored, registered at least one rebound and dished out at least one assist in the game. Pitt's bench outscored its starters (52-41) and almost outscored DePaul. It marked the second time this year that Pitt's bench outscored its starters.
On Tuesday, Pitt registered a 68-64 win at Providence in its final regular season matchup vs. the Friars. Pitt led for the entire 40 minutes and held off a late PC rally for the victory. Every time Providence cut Pitt's lead down to as few as two points, Pitt responded with field goals. Durand Johnson hit a key 3-pointer with 6:58 to go, Tray Woodall converted a clutch jumper with 23 seconds to go and James Robinson hit two free throws with nine seconds left to seal the win. Pitt won with its offense as it shot 51 percent (26-51) for the game. Lamar Patterson led Pitt with 17 points on a 7-10 shooting night. Pitt defeated PC for the 12th time in the last 13 meetings.
Louisville enters the game on a three-game losing streak. The one-time No. 1 ranked and 2012 Final Four participant Cardinals have dropped consecutive games to Syracuse (70-68), Villanova (73-64) and Georgetown (53-51). Rick Pitino's Cardinals squad is led by Russ Smith (18.4 ppg.), Peyton Siva (11.0 ppg.), Chane Behanan (10.7 ppg. /7.5 rpg.), Wayne Blackshear (9.2 ppg.) and Gorgui Dieng (9.1 ppg./9.8 rpg.).
Pitt's Jamie Dixon owns a winning record or .500 record against all Big East programs with the exception of Louisville. He is 5-6 all-time vs. the Cardinals.
Pitt has won 17 of its last 19 home games. It recently completed a 15-game home win streak, which ties for the seventh longest of its kind in school history. Pitt owns a 71-18 all-time record vs. Big East Conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt is also 101-3 vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt has also won 122 of its last 126 home games against regular season non-conference opponents. Since the Petersen Events Center opened in 2002, Pitt owns a 49-1 record in November non-conference home games and has a 48-1 record in December non-conference matchups.
MONDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt enters Monday's game at Louisville on a four-game win streak and winners of five of its last six contests. Pitt has also won three consecutive road games.
Pitt has already won five Big East games. That total matches last year's win total in Big East regular season play (5-13).
On a three-game road win streak, Pitt has claimed 29 of its last 47 road games and owns one of the Big East's top road records (56-41) over the last 12 seasons. Pitt is 3-1 on the road this year.
Over the last 12 years, Pitt has been the Big East Conference's leader in overall winning percentage (312-91, .774), league winning percentage (134-60, .691), Big East Championships (six), Big East Tournament wins (20) and NCAA Tournament appearances (10).