March 2, 2012
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GAME 31: PITT (16-14, 5-12 Big East) at CONNECTICUT (17-12, 7-10 Big East)
Saturday, March 3, 2012 Noon ET
Gampel Pavilion (10,027) Storrs, Conn.
Television: ESPN (Dave Pasch and Doris Burke; Sidelines: Andy Katz; Producer: Mike Rosenblum).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-91 (Pitt feed); XM-91 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (232-74); Connecticut: Jim Calhoun, 26th year at UConn (870-378), 40th year overall (622-241).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-NR; ESPN-NR; Connecticut: AP-NR; ESPN-NR.
Series: Pitt and Connecticut meet for the 60th time in series history with UConn holding a 31-28 advantage in the series. Pitt has claimed five of the series' last seven games, including wins in each of the last two contests played in Connecticut. Pitt owns a 1-2 record in three games against UConn at Gampel Pavilion: Feb. 6, 1995 (90-61 UConn win), Jan. 22, 2005 (76-66 Pitt win) and Jan. 31, 2006 (80-76 UConn win).
STORRS, Conn.--Pitt plays its final regular season contest when it travels to Connecticut (17-12, 7-10 Big East) for a Saturday, March 3 contest at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. Tipoff is at noon ET.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPN with Dave Pasch and Doris Burke calling action. Mike Rosenblum (producer) will handle production.
Big East Championship play begins on Tuesday, March 6. Pitt will play in the Big East Championship First Round and will enter the tourney as either the No. 11, No. 12, No. 13 or No. 14 seed. Depending on what happens on Saturday, Pitt will play in either the 2 p.m. (12 vs. 13) or 9 p.m. (11 vs. 14) game on Tuesday.
Pitt and Connecticut represent the Big East's top two winningest programs over the last 10 years. The two schools have combined for 12 Big East Championships (regular season or tournament) over the last 10 seasons. For the first time in 21 matchups and 16 years, both Pitt and Connecticut enter a game unranked. The last time both teams entered a game unranked was on Dec. 4, 1996. In 12 of the last 13 matchups, both teams entered the game as a top-25 nationally ranked team.
Pitt enters Saturday's game after registering an 89-69 home victory over St. John's. The 20-point victory was Pitt's largest league win of the year and snapped a five-game losing streak. Pitt shot a season-high 63.3 percent (31-49) from the floor as Ashton Gibbs scored a team-high 19 points, Dante Taylor added a career-high 17 points, J.J. Moore added 14 points and Lamar Patterson contributed 13. Pitt began the second half by converting 10 of its first 11 field goal attempts and eventually led by as many as 23 points midway through the second half.
SATURDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt and Connecticut represent the Big East's top two winningest programs over the last 10 years. The two schools have combined for 12 Big East Championships (regular season or tournament) over the last 10 seasons. Both Pitt and UConn enter a matchup unranked for the first time in 21 contests.
With the win against St. John's on Wednesday, Pitt's senior class of Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson became just the eighth class to win 100 or more games in a four-year career.
Over the last 11 seasons, Pitt has been the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (289-85, .773), league winning percentage (129-56, .697), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (10) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (10).
Pitt is one of only three programs nationally to win more than 20+ games, 10+ league games and advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 10 seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas and Pitt).