Cameron Wright drives to the basket on Monday against Duke.
Jan. 31, 2014
GAME 22: VIRGINIA (16-5, 7-1 ACC) at #18/17 PITT (18-3, 6-2 ACC)
Sunday, February 2, 2014 12:30 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPNU (Carter Blackburn, Jay Williams; Sidelines: Allison Williams; Producer: Steve Melton).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat, Curtis Aiken). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-Channel 91 (Pitt feed), XM-Channel 91 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (280-89); Virginia: Tony Bennett, 5th year at Virginia (95-58), 8th year overall (161-91).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-18; USA Today-17; Virginia: AP-ARV; USA Today-ARV.
Series: Pitt and Virginia meet for the 11th time in series history with Virginia holding a 7-3 advantage in a series which dates back to Dec. 27, 1951. The last time Virginia visited Pitt was on Dec. 4, 1976 at Fitzgerald Field House, a 62-61 UVa win. The last time the two teams played was on Dec. 3, 1990 in the ACC/Big East Challenge in Richmond, Va., an 84-80 Cavaliers victory. Pitt owns a 2-3 record vs. Virginia in home games.
PITTSBURGH--No. 18/17 Pitt (18-3, 6-2 ACC) hosts Virginia (16-5, 7-1 ACC) for a Sunday, Feb. 2 contest at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 12:30 p.m. ET.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU with Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Jay Williams (color analysis) and Allison Williams (sidelines) making the call. Steve Melton will handle production.
At 6-2 in ACC competition, Pitt enters the game in a third place tie with Duke, one full game behind Virginia in the standings. Virginia is currently in second place with a 7-1 record, while undefeated Syracuse is the league's leader with a perfect 7-0 record.
In the NCAA's updated RPI rankings released on Monday, Pitt ranked No. 14. Seven ACC teams are ranked among the nation's top-60 in RPI: Syracuse (6), Pitt (14), Duke (16), Virginia (22), Florida State (28), North Carolina (51) and Wake Forest (59).
Pitt has won its 18 games by an average margin of 14.7 points per game. Sixteen of Pitt's 18 wins have come by nine or more points and 12 of its 18 are by 17 points or more. Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 75.8 points per game, converting 48.5 percent (554-1143) of field goals, 35.3 percent (101-286) of 3-point field goals and a decent 72.3 percent (383-530) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-8.5 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 61.1 points per game and yielding a 40.6 (452-1114) field goal percentage. Seventeen of Pitt's 20 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and 11 have been limited to 60 points or less.
Through eight Atlantic Coast Conference games, Pitt has outscored its six opponents by a plus-8.9 margin. Pitt is shooting 49.3 percent (201-408) and 40.4 percent (36-89) from 3-point range. National/ACC Player of the Year/First Team candidate Lamar Patterson is averaging 19.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game and Talib Zanna nearly averages a double-double in points (15.9) and rebounds (8.8).
At home, Pitt is 12-1 this year, has won 14 of its last 15 games and owns a 19-game consecutive win streak against non-conference opponents. In its 12th season in the Petersen Events Center, Pitt owns a 192-23 overall record in the arena and a 78-20 conference record (3-1 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.
Virginia plays at Pitt for the first time since Dec. 4, 1976. At 7-1 in the ACC, Virginia is in second place. The Cavaliers are on a four-game win streak with three consecutive home wins over Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech and a road win on Jan. 28 at Notre Dame. Virginia is led by leading scoring Malcolm Brogdon (11.6 ppg./5.3 rpg.), Joe Harris (11.5 ppg./3.2 rpg.), Justin Anderson (9.6 ppg.) and Mike Tobey (7.8 ppg./4.6 rpg.).
SUNDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
With a 12-1 home record this year and winners of 14 of its last 15 home games, Pitt is in its 12th season at the Petersen Events Center and carries a 192-23 record (.893) in the arena. The Panthers have won 98 of their last 111 home games and 41 of their last 52 conference home games.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 17-1 record vs. previous ACC teams and a 33-12 overall record vs. current ACC teams (including Syracuse and Notre Dame).
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.
When comparing ACC basketball programs over the last 13 years, Pitt ranks second among league programs in overall winning percentage (337-99, .773), league winning percentage (147-65, .693), homecourt winning percentage (.893) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).