March 14, 2011
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GAME 33: #16 UNC ASHEVILLE or ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK vs. #1 PITT (27-5, 15-3 Big East)
NCAA Championship Second Round Thursday, March 17, 2011 Approx. 3 p.m. ET
Verizon Center (20,000) Washington, D.C.
Television: TruTV (In Pittsburgh: Comcast Channel 63/Direct TV Channel 246, check your local cable and satellite listings for TruTV); Announcers: Tim Brando and Mike Gminski; Producer: TBA.
Pitt Radio:Panther Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat), 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 125 (National feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Pitt Coach: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th year as head coach (215-59).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-3; ESPN-3 (as of March 7, 2011).
NCAA Tournament Notes: Pitt enters its school record 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed. Pitt earns a No. 1 seed for the second time in program history (2009). Pitt is one of only seven programs nationally to advance to each of the last 10 NCAA Tournaments. The 10 NCAA tourney appearances for Pitt rank as the nation's seventh longest current streak. In addition, the Panthers have advanced to five of the last nine NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen rounds. Pitt's 14 NCAA Tournament victories rank as the eighth most nationally from 2002-10.
WASHINGTON, D.C.--No. 1 seed and Big East regular season champion Pitt (27-5, 15-3 Big East) travels to Washington D.C. and the Verizon Center to compete in its school record 10th consecutive and 23rd all-time NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Pitt plays the winner of Tuesday's play in game in Dayton, Ohio, against either 2011 Big South champion UNC Asheville (19-13) or 2011 Sun Belt champion Arkansas-Little Rock (19-16) on Thursday. Pitt's game is the second contest of the afternoon with tipoff beginning 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game at approximately 3 p.m. ET. The afternoon's first game (Butler vs. Old Dominion) begins at 12:40 p.m. ET.
The contest will be nationally televised on TruTV with Tim Brando and Mike Gminski handling play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively.
Should Pitt win its Second Round game, it would advance to NCAA Third Round action against either No. 8 seed Butler (23-9) or No. 9 seed Old Dominion (27-6) on Saturday, March 19. Tipoff for that contest is TBA. If it wins both games, Pitt would advance to its sixth NCAA Sweet Sixteen in the last 11 years.
For the second time in program history and second time in the last three seasons, Pitt will enter the NCAA Tournament with a No. 1 seed. Pitt was also a No. 1 seed in 2009 when it won three-straight games and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 1974 before dropping a 78-76 contest to Villanova. Pitt earns a school record 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. Previously, Pitt had made only three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1987-89. Pitt is one of only seven schools nationally to advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 10 seasons: Duke Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin. Pitt has also advanced to NCAA Sweet Sixteen play in five of the last nine seasons. Only two programs (Duke-7 and Kansas-6) have surpassed that accomplishment and three others (Connecticut-5, Michigan State-5 and Texas-5) have matched it. Pitt leads the Big East in most consecutive NCAA Tournaments with 10. The next closest streak in the league is Villanova with seven straight tourney appearances. Pitt also ranks No. 8 among national leaders in NCAA Tournament wins over the last nine seasons with 14.
Pitt enters its 23rd NCAA Tournament and is 22-23 in 45 NCAA Tournament all-time games. Since 2002, Pitt is 14-9 in its 23 NCAA Tournament games, reaching the Elite Eight once and Sweet Sixteen five times. In a 64-team format, Pitt has advanced past the round of 16 just one time (2009). In 1973-74, Pitt also earned an Elite Eight appearance in a 32-team tournament.
In addition, Dixon owns a 10-7 record in his 17 NCAA Tournament games. Dixon is 6-1 in NCAA Tournament First Round games. Since 2001-02, Pitt is 8-1 in the NCAA Tournament First Round.
For the third straight season, Pitt begins NCAA Tournament play after losing its first game in the Big East Championship. No. 1 seed Pitt dropped a 76-74 decision to Connecticut. Jamie Dixon owns a 39-11 career record following a loss.
With its Big East regular season title, Pitt captured its league-leading sixth Big East Conference crown in the last 10 years and fourth Big East regular season title since 2000 (see chart page 4). Pitt has now won or tied for the Big East regular season title six times in program history: 1986-87, 1987-88, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04 and now 2010-11. With its league-leading 15-3 record, Pitt won the title after maintaining its 1.0 game lead over Notre Dame (14-4). Pitt entered the Big East Tournament as the No. 1 seed for only the third time in school history: 1988, 2004 and 2011.
THURSDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed for the second time in program history. Pitt was also a No. 1 seed in 2009 when it advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.
Pitt advances to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive season, one of only seven programs nationally to achieve that distinction.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning pct. (272-70, .795), league winning pct. (124-44, .738), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (10) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (10).
Winners of eight of its last 11 games, Pitt is one of only three programs nationally to win 20+ games, 10+ league games and advance to the NCAA Tourney in each of the last 10 seasons (Pitt, Kansas, Gonzaga).
National Coach of the Year candidate Jamie Dixon set an NCAA Division I record for most victories after the first eight years as a head coach. He is 39-11 following a loss.