March 3, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Pitt will travel to New York City and Madison Square Garden to compete in its 30th all-time Big East Basketball Championship next week. The No. 13 seeded Panthers (16-15, 5-13 Big East) will open tournament play on Tuesday, March 6 at 2 p.m. ET in a First Round matchup against No. 12 seed St. John's (13-17, 6-11 Big East). The contest will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Should Pitt win Tuesday's contest, it would advance to a Second Round matchup against No. 5 Georgetown (22-7, 12-6 Big East), set for Wednesday, March 7 at 2 p.m. With a Second Round victory, Pitt would advance to the Quarterfinal Round vs. No. 4 Cincinnati, scheduled for Thursday, March 8 at 2 p.m. Both of those games will be nationally televised on ESPN.
The 2012 Championship will mark the 30th anniversary of the Big East at Madison Garden, marking the longest-running conference tournament at one venue in the country.
Pitt has advanced to seven of the last 11 Big East Championship Finals and has captured two tournament titles in both 2003 and 2008. Pitt owns a 19-10 record in Big East Championship games since 2000-01. Named Madison Square Garden's "Team of the Decade," Pitt has claimed 15 of its last 22 games at MSG and owns a 27-13 record at MSG since 2000-01.
Pitt has won six all-time Big East regular season titles and three league outright titles (1987-88, 2003-04 and 2010-11). Since the 2000-01 season, Pitt has claimed a league-leading six total Big East championships (four regular season titles--2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2010-11 and two tournament titles--2003, 2008).
Over the last 11 seasons, Pitt ranks among the nation's top-5 in overall winning percentage (289-86) and owns the Big East's best regular season record (129-56).
PITT'S 2012 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
*Pitt has appeared in seven of the last 11 Big East Championship Finals (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008). Previously, only one school in Big East history matched that run: Syracuse (7 of 8 from 1986-93). It has appeared in three of the last six Big East Championship Finals (2006, 2007 and 2008) and advanced to four consecutive title games from 2001-04.
*Pitt is one of three programs to capture at least two Big East Championship titles since 2000-01: Connecticut-3, Pitt-2 and Syracuse-2.
*Pitt has won 19 of its last 29 Big East Championship games dating back to the 1999-00 season. The 19 wins rank as the most victories of any program during that time period: Pitt-19, Syracuse-15, Connecticut-14, Georgetown-13, Villanova-9.
*Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon enters his ninth Big East Championship with an 11-7 tournament record. In 2008, he guided Pitt to its second all-time Big East Tournament title and its seventh Big East Championship Finals appearance in school history.
*In 30 years since joining the Big East Conference, Pitt has won the title two times (2003 and 2008) and advanced to the title game in seven tournaments (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008). It defeated UConn, 74-56, in the 2003 title game and Georgetown, 74-65, in 2008-09. Pitt has advanced to three of the last six title games.
*Madison Square Garden is Pitt's home away from home. Pitt is 27-13 at Madison Square Garden since the 2001-02 season.
*Pitt features five players and one staff member who are New York City area natives. The student-athletes include Ashton Gibbs (Scotch Plains, N.J.), Dante Taylor (Greenburgh, N.Y), J.J. Moore (Brentwood, Long Island), Isaiah Epps (Plainfield, N.J.) and Tray Woodall (Brooklyn), along with Assistant Coach Brandin Knight (East Orange, N.J.).
2012 BIG EAST MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
(all games are played at New York's Madison Square Garden)
Tuesday, March 6, First Round
No. 9 Connecticut vs. No. 16 DePaul, Noon, ESPN2
No. 12 St. John's vs. No. 13 Pitt, 2 p.m., ESPN2
No. 10 Seton Hall vs. No. 15 Providence, 7 p.m., ESPN-U
No. 11 Rutgers vs. No. 14 Villanova, 9 p.m., ESPN-U
Wednesday, March 7, Second Round
No. 8 West Virginia vs. 9-16 winner, Noon, ESPN
No. 5 Georgetown vs.12-13 winner, 2 p.m., ESPN
No. 7 Louisville vs. 10-15 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN
No. 6 South Florida vs. 11-14 winner, 9 p.m., ESPN
Thursday, March 8, Quarterfinals
No. 1 Syracuse vs. 8-9-16 winner, Noon, ESPN
No. 4 Cincinnati vs. 5-12-13 winner, 2 p.m., ESPN
No. 2 Marquette vs. 7-10-15 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN
No. 3 Notre Dame vs. 6-11-14 winner, 9 p.m., ESPN
Friday, March 9, Semifinals
Thursday afternoon winners, 7 p.m., ESPN
Thursday evening winners, 9 p.m., ESPN
Saturday, March 10, Big East Championship Final
Semifinal winners 9 p.m., ESPN