Feb. 26, 2013
GAME 28: SOUTH FLORIDA (10-16, 1-13 Big East) at #23 PITT (21-7, 9-6 Big East)
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 7 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN Regional/Root Sports (Kevin Connors and Bob Wenzel; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Television Affiliates: New York (SNY), Washington, D.C. (MASN), Pittsburgh (Root Sports), Baltimore, Md. (MASN), Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (SNY-CT), Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI), New Orleans, La. (Cox-NO), Providence-New Bedford, R.I. (Cox-NE), Green Bay-Appleton, Wis. (TW-WI2). Tape Delay at 10 p.m. ET: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, Fla. (Brighthouse), Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla. (Brighthouse-O).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-93 (Pitt feed), XM-192 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 14th year at Pitt, 10th year as head coach (259-84); USF: Stan Heath, 6th year at USF (83-106), 12th year overall (195-183).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-23; USA Today-ARV; South Florida: AP-NR; USA Today-NR.
Series: Pitt and South Florida meet for the 11th time in series history. The series is deadlocked at 5-5, even though the Bulls have claimed each of the last two games last season, a 63-51 win in Tampa and a 56-47 decision at the Petersen Events Center. Prior to the 2011-12 season, Pitt had won five of the previous six matchups between the two schools.
PITTSBURGH--After winning eight of its last 11 games, No. 23 ranked Pitt (21-7, 9-6 Big East) hosts South Florida (10-16, 1-13 Big East) for a Wednesday, February 27 matchup. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.
The contest will be regionally televised by ESPN Regional and aired locally in Pittsburgh on ROOT Sports. Kevin Connors and Bob Wenzel will make the call, while Bill Shissler will handle production.
Three regular season games remain for Pitt before postseason play begins: South Florida (Feb. 27), Villanova (March 3) and at DePaul (March 9). Pitt has already defeated both Villanova and DePaul. At 9-6, Pitt is in seventh place in the Big East. The Panthers have an outside chance at a two-day bye upon entering the Big East Tournament (March 12-16), but most likely will be playing on Wednesday. Georgetown is in first place with an 11-3 record, followed by second place Marquette (11-4), third place Louisville (10-5), Syracuse and Notre Dame (both tied for fourth at 10-5), sixth place Connecticut (9-5) and Pitt (9-6). Connecticut will not compete in the Big East Tournament.
A win on Wednesday will give Pitt its 10th Big East win of the season. It will give Pitt its 11th 10-win league season over the last 12 years.
Pitt has won eight of its last 11 games and nine of its last 13 contests. Pitt has already won more overall games (21) and more Big East Conference games (nine) 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 national comeback team of the year.
Following three straight games against nationally ranked opponents, Pitt claimed a 63-47 win over St. John's at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. Tray Woodall led the Panthers with a season and team-high 25 points (8-14 FG). He hit 4-7 3-pointers, including several key shots down the stretch. Pitt used an 11-2 run and outscored St. John's 23-8 over a 12-minute stretch in taking a commanding 14-point lead (55-41) with 5:32 left in the game. St. John's was limited to 26 percent (7-27) shooting in the second half. Pitt improved to 30-15 in games played at Madison Square Garden since the 2000-01 season. Pitt is also 2-1 at MSG this season following wins over St. John's and Delaware and a loss to No. 4 Michigan.
South Florida enters Wednesday's game with a 1-13 Big East record and 10-16 slate overall. The Bulls have lost nine consecutive games. USF is led by Victor Rudd (11.5 ppg./7.1 rpg.), Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (10.2 ppg./5.2 rpg.), Jawanza Poland (9.3 ppg./4.5 rpg.) and Anthony Collins (8.8 ppg./159 assists). Pitt has dropped each of its last two games against South Florida, including a 63-51 loss in Tampa (Feb. 8, 2012) and a 56-47 loss at the Petersen Events Center on Feb. 19, 2012.
Pitt has won 19 of its last 22 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 73-19 all-time record vs. Big East Conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center.
WEDNESDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
With three regular season games remaining, Pitt (9-6) is vying for seeding for the upcoming Big East Tournament.
A win would give Pitt 10 Big East victories for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.
No. 23 Pitt has won eight of its last 11 and nine of its last 13 contests.
Pitt is in its 11th season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 178-22 overall record (.890) in the arena. Pitt is also 73-19 all-time vs. Big East opponents at the PEC. The Panthers have won 84 of their last 96 home games and 35 of their last 45 Big East Conference home games.
Over the last 12 years, Pitt has been the Big East Conference's leader in overall winning percentage (316-94, .771), league winning percentage (138-63, .687), Big East Championships (six), Big East Tournament wins (20) and NCAA Tournament appearances (10).