March 11, 2014
GAME 32: #5 PITT (23-8, 11-7 ACC) vs. #12 WAKE FOREST (17-15, 6-12 ACC)
ACC Tournament Thursday, March 13, 2014 2 p.m. ET
Greensboro Coliseum (23,300) Greensboro, N.C.
Television: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, Sidelines: Jeannine Edwards; Producer: Bo Garrett; Director: Jeff Evers; ACC Network (Tim Brant and Mike Gminski; Producer: Rob Reichley).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: XM-Channel 85 (ESPN Radio feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (285-94).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; USA Today-ARV.
Series: Pitt enters its first-ever ACC Tournament as a No. 5 seed. In preseason, it was picked to finish sixth by media members covering the ACC. Pitt spent the last 31 seasons in the Big East Conference, winning two tournament titles and advancing to seven title games. Pitt is 1-0 vs. Wake Forest, including an 80-65 win over the Demon Deacons at the Petersen Events Center on Jan. 11. Pitt is 28-31 all-time vs. Notre Dame, including an 85-81 overtime win in South Bend on March 1.
GREENSBORO, N.C.-- As winners in three of its last four games, Pitt (23-8, 11-7 ACC) enters its first-ever ACC Tournament as a No. 5 seed in Greensboro, N.C. It will play its first-ever ACC Tournament game on Thursday, March 13 against either No. 12 Wake Forest (16-15, 6-12 ACC) or No. 13 Notre Dame (15-16, 6-12 ACC). Tipoff is at 2 p.m. ET at Greensboro Coliseum.
The contest will be televised nationally on ESPN with Sean McDonough (play-by-play) and Jay Bilas (color analysis) making the call. Bo Garrett (producer) and Jeff Evers (director) will handle production. The contest will also be televised on the ACC Network with Tim Brant and Mike Gminski providing play-by-play and color analysis respectively. Rob Reichley handles production.
Should Pitt win its first ACC game, it would advance to play No. 4 seed North Carolina on Friday, March 14 at 2 p.m. on either ESPN or ESPN2/ACC Network. A win in that game would give Pitt a berth in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Saturday, March 15 at 1 p.m.
At 23-8 overall and 11-7 in ACC play, Pitt finished in fifth place, one spot higher than the media predicted it would finish in a preseason poll. With an 83-78 win at Clemson, Pitt concluded its season with an ACC-best 7-2 road record on the year. That record also tied for its best league road record in school history. Pitt also went 7-2 in 2010-11 (see chart on page 3). In addition, an impressive 10 of Pitt's 23 wins have come away from the Petersen Events Center (seven wins in away games and three in neutral contests). Only 11 programs nationwide have 10 or more victories away from home: Wichita State (17), Villanova (13), Florida (12), Wisconsin (11), Syracuse (11), Michigan State (11), Pitt (10), Virginia (10), Louisville (10), Michigan (10) and Arizona (10).
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 23 games by an average margin of 10.1 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 4-0 in overtime games. Pitt's eight losses are by a combined 42 points (5.3 points per game). Three have come on last second plays. In five of the eight losses, Pitt held leads deep into the games.
Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 72.6 points per game, converting 46.1 percent (769-1669) of field goals, 35.7 percent (160-448) of 3-point field goals and a solid 72.1 percent (554-768) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-6.4 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 62.5 points per game and yielding a 41.4 (667-1613) field goal percentage. Twenty-two of Pitt's 31 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and 16 have been limited to 60 points or less.
THURSDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt will compete in its first-ever ACC Tournament. Pitt enters the ACC Tournament as the No. 5 seed after winning three of its last four regular season games.
Pitt's NCAA Tournament resume includes a 23-8 overall record, 11-7 league record and a league-best 7-2 road record. Pitt has won 10 games away from home (7 on road/3 at neutral sites). Three of its losses have come on buzzer-beater shots. Pitt is also 4-0 in overtime games.
Pitt has won 20 overall and 10 league contests for the 12th time in the last 13 years.
When comparing ACC basketball programs over the last 13 years, Pitt ranks second among league programs in overall winning percentage (342-104, .767), league winning percentage (152-70, .685), homecourt winning percentage (.877) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 21-5 career record vs. previous ACC teams and a 38-17 overall record vs. current ACC teams (including Syracuse and Notre Dame).