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Feb. 22, 2013

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GAME 27: #20 PITT (20-7, 8-6 Big East) at ST. JOHN'S (16-10, 8-6 Big East)

Sunday, February 24, 2013 • Noon ET • Madison Square Garden (19,763) • New York, N.Y.


Television: ESPN Regional/Root Sports (Eamon McAnaney and John Celestand; Producer: Darren Chiappetta).

Network Affiliates: Pittsburgh (Root Sports), New York City (MSG), Washington D.C. (MASN), Baltimore, Md. (MASN), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (Brighthouse), Denver, Colo. (Altitude), Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla.(Brighthouse-O), New Orleans, La. (Cox-NO), Providence-New Bedford, R.I. (Cox-NE).

Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-92 (SJU feed), XM-190 (SJU feed).

Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats:

Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 14th year at Pitt, 10th year as head coach (258-84); St. John's: Steve Lavin, 3rd year at St. John's (39-22), 9th year overall (184-100).

Rankings: Pitt: AP-20; USA Today-22; St. John's: AP-NR; USA Today-NR.

Series: Pitt and St. John's meet for the 58th time in series history with the Red Storm holding a 34-23 advantage. Pitt has claimed eight of the series' last 10 matchups and is 10-3 vs. St. John's since the 2001-02 season. Pitt owns a 5-8 all-time record vs. St. John's at Madison Square Garden and has won three of the last four meetings at the World's Most Famous Arena.


NEW YORK, N.Y.--After winning seven of its last 10 games, No. 20 ranked Pitt (20-7, 8-6 Big East) travels to New York City and Madison Square Garden to play St. John's (16-10, 8-6 Big East) for a Sunday, February 24 matchup. Tipoff is at noon ET.

The contest will be regionally televised by ESPN Regional and aired locally in Pittsburgh on ROOT Sports. Eamon McAnaney and John Celestand will make the call, while Darren Chiappetta will handle production.

Four regular season games remain for Pitt before postseason play begins: at St. John's (Feb. 24), South Florida (Feb. 27), Villanova (March 3) and at DePaul (March 9). Pitt has already defeated both Villanova and DePaul.

Both Pitt and St. John's enter the matchup in a race for seeding into the Big East Championship (March 12-16). Three teams- Syracuse, Georgetown and Marquette are tied for first place with 10-3 records. Louisville is in fourth place at 9-4, Notre Dame is in fifth place at 9-5, Connecticut, sixth at 7-5 and Pitt, Villanova and St. John's are tied for seventh place with identical 8-6 records.

Pitt has won seven of its last 10 games and eight of its last 12 contests. Pitt has already won more overall games (20) and more Big East Conference games (eight) than it did last season when injuries derailed its 2011-12 regular season with a 16-15 record and 5-13 league slate. See page 6 chart for a listing of Pitt's best Big East turnarounds. In addition, Pitt has also won 20 games for the 12th consecutive season. Pitt has made its case for comeback team of the year.

Pitt is coming a three-game string against nationally ranked opponents and back-to-back losses to No. 25 Notre Dame and to No. 18 Marquette. Pitt began the three-game stretch against nationally ranked teams by defeating No. 17 Cincinnati.

Notre Dame used a late 12-2 rally to hand the Panthers a 51-42 home loss on Monday night. Pitt finished 0-8 from 3-point range and shot just 34.8 percent (16-46) from the floor. The Panthers built a 19-3 lead with seven minutes to go, but the Fighting Irish battled back into the game as they scored 16 of the first half's final 19 points. Tray Woodall led Pitt with 11 points.

St. John's enters Sunday's game after a 69-54 home win over South Florida following road loss at Syracuse (77-58) and Louisville (72-58). The Red Storm has lost three of their last five after putting together a five-game win streak. St. John's is led by D'Angelo Harrison (18.3 ppg./4.3 rpg.), JaKarr Sampson (14.7 ppg./6.7 rpg.) and Phil Greene (9.2 ppg.).


•With four regular season games remaining, Pitt (8-6) and St. John's (8-6) meet in a clash of two teams vying for seeding in the Big East regular season standings.

•No. 20 Pitt has won seven of its last 10 and eight of its last 12 contests.

•Pitt has won four of its last six road contests. The Panthers have also claimed 30 of their last 50 road games and own one of the Big East's top road records (57-43) over the last 12 seasons. Pitt is 4-3 on the road this year.

•Over the last 12 years, Pitt has been the Big East Conference's leader in overall winning percentage (315-94, .770), league winning percentage (137-63, .685), Big East Championships (six), Big East Tournament wins (20) and NCAA Tournament appearances (10).

No. 20 Men's Basketball Plays at St. John's on Sunday at Noon

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