March 2, 2014
GAME 30: NORTH CAROLINA STATE (17-12, 7-9 ACC) at PITT (22-7, 10-6 ACC)
Monday, March 3, 2014 9 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPNU (Mike Patrick and LaPhonso Ellis; Producer: Jim Piscitelli).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat, Curtis Aiken). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-Channel 85 (Pitt feed), XM-Channel 85 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (284-93); North Carolina State: Mark Gottfried, 3rd year at NSCU (65-36); 17th year overall (343-191).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-NR; USA Today-ARV; North Carolina State: AP-NR; USA Today-NR.
Series: Pitt and North Carolina State meet for the second time this year and 12th time in series history. Pitt claimed a 74-62 win in Raleigh on January 4, 2014. That game was Pitt's first-ever ACC regular season contest. NC State holds a 2-9 advantage in the series dating back to Dec. 17, 1948. The most notable meeting between the two schools was in the NCAA Tournament on March 16, 1974, a 100-72 NC State victory. NC State plays at Pitt for the first time in 43 years.
PITTSBURGH--Pitt (22-7, 10-6 ACC) plays its final home regular season game when it hosts North Carolina State (17-12, 7-9 ACC) in a Monday, March 3 contest at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 9 p.m. ET.
The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU with Mike Patrick (play-by-play) and LaPhonso Ellis (color analysis) making the call. Jim Piscitelli will handle production.
At 10-6 in Atlantic Coast Conference competition, Pitt enters the game in fifth place in the league standings. Two regular season games remain for Pitt, including one home contest (North Carolina State on Monday, March 3) and one road game at Clemson (March 8).
Pitt has won 20 or more overall games and 10 or more league games for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons. Pitt has won its 22 games by an average margin of 10.9 points per game. Sixteen of Pitt's 22 wins have come by nine or more points and 12 of its 22 are by 17 points or more. Pitt is now 3-0 in overtime games. Pitt's seven losses are by a combined 35 points (5.0 points per game). Three have come on last second plays. In five of the seven losses, Pitt held leads deep into the games.
Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 72.5 points per game, converting 45.8 percent (720-1571) of field goals, 35.0 percent (143-409) of 3-point field goals and a solid 72.1 percent (519-720) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-7.0 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 61.6 points per game and yielding a 40.9 (614-1501) field goal percentage. Twenty-two of Pitt's 29 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and 16 have been limited to 60 points or less.
In each of Pitt's last eight games, each contest has been decided by six points or less, three went into double OT or overtime and two were decided on game-winning shots at the buzzer. Defense has been the key over their last eight games as the Panthers have held each of their four opponents to an average of 63.0 points per game and 41.9 (162-387) shooting from the floor.
Pitt is coming off back-to-back road victories at Notre Dame (85-81 in OT) and at Boston College (66-59). With the wins, Pitt improved to 6-2 on the road this year. The 6-2 record ranks tied for second among all-time best Pitt road records in league regular season play (see chart on page 3).
Against Notre Dame, Pitt set a school record for points in a one overtime game with 20 and converted 14-15 free throws including each of its last seven consecutive to register an 85-81 win the Joyce Center. Lamar Patterson led the Panthers with 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, Talib Zanna registered his ninth career double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds (10 offensive), Cameron Wright added 15 and Michael Young tied a career-high with 13. Pitt totaled a team season-high 21 offensive rebounds, outrebounded Notre Dame by 16 boards (38-22) and outscored Notre Dame 21-5 on second chance points. Pitt also won the game after the Fighting Irish hit 54.8 percent (23-42) of their field goal attempts.
Against Boston College, the Panthers used an early 12-0 run to build a 23-11 lead with 11:13 to go in the first half. Pitt, which eventually led by 14 points in the second half, held off Boston College the rest of the way to register its 21st win of the season. Talib Zanna led the way for Pitt with 21 points on 7-10 field goal shooting and 7-8 free throw shooting. Zanna also became the 43rd player in school history to surpass the 1,000-point mark for a career. Lamar Patterson finished with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists and Cameron Wright added 14 points for Pitt, which won its 11th in its last 12 meetings against Boston College.
Pitt plays North Carolina State for the second time this season. The Panthers claimed a 74-62 victory on Jan. 4, 2014 after battling back from an early 15-point deficit. NC State visits Pitt for the first time since Jan. 23, 1971. Pitt is 2-9 all-time vs. NC State. The Wolfpack are led by ACC leading scoring T.J. Warren (23.6 ppg./7.0 rpg.), Ralston Turner (10.3 ppg./60 3FGM), Desmond Lee (9.2 ppg.) and Anthony Barber (9.0 ppg.).
At home, Pitt is 13-4 this year, has won 15 of its last 19 games and owns a 19-game consecutive win streak against non-conference opponents. In its 12th season in the Petersen Events Center, Pitt owns a 193-26 overall record in the arena and a 79-23 conference record (4-4 vs. ACC/75-19 vs. Big East). The Panthers also own a 110-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center and have won 131 of its last 135 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
MONDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt has won 20 overall and 10 league contests for the 12th time in the last 13 years.
Two regular season games remain for Pitt, including one at home (NC State) and one on the road (Clemson).
Pitt is in its 12th season in the Petersen Events Center with a 193-26 all-time record and .881 winning percentage. The Panthers are 13-4 at home this year and have won 15 of their last 19 at home.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 20-4 career record vs. previous ACC teams and a 37-16 overall record vs. current ACC teams (including Syracuse and Notre Dame).
When comparing ACC basketball programs over the last 13 years, Pitt ranks second among league programs in overall winning percentage (341-103, .768), league winning percentage (151-69, .686), homecourt winning percentage (.881) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).
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