Feb. 6, 2011
GAME 24: #4 PITT (21-2, 9-1 Big East) at #25 WEST VIRGINIA (15-7, 6-4 Big East)
Monday, February 7, 2011 7 p.m. ET
WVU Coliseum (14,000) Morgantown, W.Va.
Television: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas; Producer: Bo Garrett).
Radio: Panther Sports Radio Network (Matt Chazanow and Dick Groat), 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 122; XM: 143 (WVU feed).
National Radio Broadcast: IMG College-National (Brock Bowling, John Celestand).
IMG College National Affiliate List: Houston-Galveston, Texas (KFNC-FM, 97.5), Washington D.C. (WTEM-AM, 980), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (WQYK-AM, 1010), Providence, R.I. (WPRV-AM, 790), Richmond, Va. (WRNL-AM, 910), Fort Myers-Naples-Marco Island, Fla. (WWCN-AM, 770), Hartford, Conn. (WPOP-AM, 1410), Albuquerque, N.M. (KNML_AM, 610), Little Rock, Ark. (KASR-FM, 92.7), Pine Bluff, Ark. (KCLA-AM, 1400), Syracuse, N.Y. (WTLA-FM-AM, 97.7 and 1200), Oswego, N.Y. (WSGO-FM-AM, 100.1, 1440), Stuart-Fort Pierce-Vero Beach, Fla. (WSTU-AM, 1450), Port Saint Lucie, Fla. (WPSL-AM, 1590), Elmira, N.Y. (WELM-AM, 1410), Ithaca, N.Y. (WPIE-AM, 1160), Roanoke Rapids, N.C. (WCBT-AM, 1230), Bainbridge, Ga. (WBGE-AM, 101.9).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th year as head coach (209-56); West Virginia: Bob Huggins, 4th year at WVU (95-37), 29th year overall (685-248).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-4; ESPN-4. West Virginia: AP-25; ESPN-ARV (as of Jan. 31, 2011).
Series: Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 181st time in series history. WVU leads the all-time series 95-85 although Pitt has claimed 14 of the last 21 matchups. Since the 2001-02 season, Pitt is 5-5 in games played in Morgantown. Jamie Dixon owns a 3-4 record in Morgantown.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.--No. 4 ranked and first place Pitt (21-2, 9-1 Big East) travels to No. 25 West Virginia (15-7, 6-4 Big East) for a Monday, February 7 contest at WVU Coliseum. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET.
The "Big Monday" game will be nationally televised by ESPN with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Bill Raftery and Jay Bilas calling action. Bo Garrett will handle production. The contest marks Pitt's league-leading fourth "Big Monday" game of the year.
With a 9-1 league record, Pitt sits atop the Big East Conference with a two-game lead. Three teams are tied for second place with identical 7-3 records including Villanova, Louisville and Notre Dame. Syracuse and Georgetown are next with 7-4 records and Connecticut and West Virginia are both 6-4. Pitt must play five games against three of those opponents (Villanova-2, Louisville and West Virginia-2) in the coming weeks.
Winners of 11 of its last 12 overall games and 12 of its last 13 Big East regular season contests, No. 4 Pitt enters the game following a 71-59 home win over Cincinnati on Saturday. Taking advantage of 54.2 percent shooting and 55.6 percent 3-point shooting in the first half, Pitt jumped out to a 17-point halftime lead. Ashton Gibbs (5-5 3FGM) scored 18 first half points en route to a career-high tying 25 points to lead the Panthers. Previously, Pitt won 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. Gibbs scored 24 points in the win. Pitt won its sixth straight contest at Rutgers and the win gave the Panthers their 17th road win in their past 23 games.
A win on Monday would give Pitt its 10th Big East victory on the year. Pitt is the only league school to win 20 overall games and 10 league game in each of the last nine seasons. With its win over Rutgers, Pitt claimed its 20th win for the 10th consecutive season and Jamie Dixon compiled his eighth straight 20-win campaign.
Pitt's 9-1 start to Big East regular season play matches its best-ever start to league play. Pitt also began the 2006-07 season with a 9-1 record. That same year, Pitt began league play with a 10-1 record.
Pitt's 21-2 record ranks tied for the fourth-best start in school history after 23 games. Pitt completed a 21-0 season en route to the mythical national championship in 1927-28, began 22-1 two times (2003-04 in Dixon's first year as head coach and in 1929-30) and 21-2 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 was five straight wins in three other seasons: 2002-03, 2006-07 and 2009-10.
Currently on a five-game road win streak which ranks tied for the eighth longest of its kind in school history, Pitt has won 17 of its last 23 road games. Over the last 10 seasons (2001-11), Pitt owns the Big East's best road winning percentage with a 49-30 record.
Pitt and West Virginia meet for the 181st time in series history as WVU holds a 95-85 all-time advantage. In games played at WVU Coliseum, West Virginia has defeated Pitt in 24 of out of 32 all-time meetings. Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon owns a 3-4 record in games played at WVU Coliseum, the best winning percentage and most wins for any Pitt coach in the facility. Overall, Pitt has claimed 14 of the series' last 21 matchups.
MONDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
With a two-game lead at 9-1, Pitt is off to its best-ever start to a Big East regular season. Pitt also began Big East Conference play with a 9-1 record in 2006-07. Pitt's 21-2 record after 23 games ties for its fourth all-time best overall start in school history.
A victory would give Pitt 20 or more wins and 10 or more league wins for the 10th consecutive season, the only Big East program to achieve that distinction.
Pitt plays its fifth road game of the year as the Panthers have won 17 of their last 23 games away from home. Over the last 10 years, Pitt owns the Big East's best road winning percentage with a 49-30 combined record. Pitt is 4-0 this year on the road and has won five straight road games.
Pitt has won 11 of its last 12 and 12 of its last 13 Big East regular season contests.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning pct. (266-67, .798), league winning pct. (118-42, .738), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (9) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (9).
COURTSIDE: Pitt Goes Retro in Win Over No. 17 FSU
Pittsburgh upsets No. 17 Florida State 80-66
GAME NOTES: Panthers Host No. 17 Florida State Saturday
Pitt Falls to Virginia Tech 66-63
GAME NOTES: Pitt Seeks Third Straight Win Tuesday Evening
COURTSIDE: Panthers Top Syracuse for Sixth Time in Seven Games