Feb. 3, 2011
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GAME 23: CINCINNATI (18-4, 5-4 Big East) at #4 PITT (20-2, 8-1 Big East)
Saturday, February 5, 2011 6 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh (Rob King, Brooke Weisbrod; Producer: Major Howe).
Television Affiliates: Pittsburgh (FSN Pittsburgh), New York (SportnetNY), Washington D.C. (MASN), Baltimore, Md. (MASN), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (Brighthouse), Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne (Brighthouse-O), Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (SNY-CT), Cincinnati, Ohio (FSN-Ohio), Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI), San Antonio-Austin, Texas (KCWX), Providence-New Bedford, R.I. (Cox-NE), Green Bay-Appleton, Wis. (TW-WI2), ESPN3.com, ESPN Full Court.
Radio: Panther Sports Radio Network (Matt Chazanow, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel: N/A; XM: N/A (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th year as head coach (208-56); Cincinnati: Mick Cronin, 5th year at UC (79-72), 8th year overall (148-96).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-4; ESPN-4. Cincinnati: AP-NR; ESPN-NR.
Series: Pitt and Cincinnati meet for the 15th time in series history. The series is tied at 7-7. Pitt has won each of the last four consecutive games and six of the series' last seven contests. Pitt also is 3-0 vs. the Bearcats in the Petersen Events Center. Pitt owns a 28-9 record vs. Big East teams added in 2005-06: Cincinnati 6-1, DePaul 7-0, Louisville 5-3, Marquette 6-4, USF 4-1.
PITTSBURGH--No. 4 ranked Pitt (20-2, 8-1 Big East) hosts Cincinnati (18-4, 5-4 Big East) for a Saturday, February 5 contest at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. ET.
The game will be televised by ESPN Regional and broadcast locally on FSN Pittsburgh with Rob King (play-by-play) and Brooke Weisbrod (color analyst) calling action. Major Howe will handle production.
With an 8-1 league record, Pitt sits atop the Big East with a two-game lead. Four teams are tied for second place with identical 6-3 records: Villanova, Louisville, West Virginia and Notre Dame. Pitt must play five games against three of those opponents (Villanova-2, Louisville and West Virginia-2) in the coming weeks. Syracuse and Georgetown are next with 6-4 records. Winners of 10 of its last 11 overall games and 11 of its last 12 Big East regular season contests, No. 4 Pitt enters the game following a six-day break.
Pitt last played on Saturday, Jan. 29, a hard-fought 65-62 win at Rutgers. Despite shooting a season-low 35.6 percent (16-45) from the floor, Pitt hit 80 percent of its free throws and won the rebounding battle in registering the win. Ashton Gibbs scored 20 or more points for the eighth game of the year, a 24-point performance. He hit four 3-pointers including a key basket with 55 seconds to go. Pitt won its sixth straight contest at Rutgers and the win gave the Panthers their 17th road win in their past 23 games. Pitt also claimed its 20th win for the 10th consecutive season and Jamie Dixon compiled his eighth straight 20-win campaign.
Pitt's 8-1 start to Big East regular season play marks its best-ever start to league play. Pitt also began with an 8-1 start two different times under Jamie Dixon (2003-04 and 2006-07). Pitt began with a 7-2 record three different times (1987-88, 2002-03 and 2008-09).
Pitt's 20-2 record ranks tied for the fourth-best start in school history after 22 games. Pitt completed a 21-0 season en route to the mythical national championship in 1927-28, began 21-1 two times (2003-04 and 1929-30) and 20-2 three times (1973-74, 2008-09 and 2010-11).
Pitt won its first seven Big East regular season games 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.
Pitt and Cincinnati meet for the 15th time in school history. The series is tied at 7-7 but Pitt has won each of the last four consecutive games and six of the series' last seven contests. Pitt is 3-0 vs. Cincinnati at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt also owns a 28-9 record vs. Big East teams added in 2005-06: Cincinnati 6-1, DePaul 7-0, Louisville 5-3, Marquette 6-4, South Florida 4-1.
SATURDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
With a two-game lead at 8-1, Pitt is off to its best-ever start to a Big East regular season. Pitt also began Big East Conference play with 8-1 records in 2003-04 and 2006-07.
Pitt's 20-2 record after 22 games ties for its third all-time best overall start in school history.
Pitt has won 10 of its last 11 games and 11 of its last 12 Big East regular season contests.
Pitt is in its ninth season at the Petersen Events Center and carries a 145-12 record (.924 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 61-11 record vs. Big East opponents at the PEC. Pitt has won 20 of its last 21 games, is 13-1 at home this year and has won 51 of its last 53 home games.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (265-67, .798), league winning percentage (117-42, .736), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (9) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (9).