March 14, 2014
GAME 33: #5 PITT (24-8, 11-7 ACC) vs. #4 NORTH CAROLINA (23-8, 13-5 ACC)
ACC Tournament Quarterfinal Friday, March 14, 2014 2 p.m. ET
Greensboro Coliseum (23,300) Greensboro, N.C.
Television: ESPN2 (Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, Sidelines: Jeannine Edwards; Prod.: Bo Garrett, Jeff Evers); ACC Network (Tim Brant and Mike Gminski; Side.: Debbie Antonelli; Producer: Rob Reichley).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 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 (286-94).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-NR; USA Today-ARV; North Carolina: AP-15; USA Today-15.
Series: No. 5 seeded Pitt is competing in its first all-time ACC Tournament and second ACC Tournament game after defeating Wake Forest 84-55 on Thursday. Pitt plays North Carolina for the second time this season as the Tar Heels claimed a 75-71 decision at the Smith Center on Feb. 15, 2014. Pitt owns a 1-8 all-time record vs. North Carolina. Pitt's lone victory over the Tar Heels came on March 21, 1941 in the NCAA Eastern Regionals in Madison, Wis., a 26-20 win.
GREENSBORO, N.C.--As winners in four of its last five games, Pitt (24-8, 11-7 ACC) advances to the Quarterfinal Round of its first-ever ACC Tournament to play No. 4 seed North Carolina (23-8, 13-5 ACC) on Friday, March 14. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. ET at Greensboro Coliseum.
The contest will be televised nationally on ESPN2 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, Debbie Antonelli is the sideline reporter and Rob Reichley handles production.
With its 84-55 Second Round win over Wake Forest on Thursday, Pitt advances to play North Carolina. Should Pitt defeat North Carolina, it would give Pitt a berth in the ACC Tournament Semifinals against either Virginia or Florida State on Saturday, March 15 at 1 p.m.
Pitt registered its largest-ever league tournament win in defeating Wake Forest by 29 points on Thursday. The Panthers jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and never looked back, taking a 39-25 halftime lead. In the second half, Pitt outscored Wake Forest 18-6 over the half's first eight minutes to take a commanding 26-point lead. Lamar Patterson led Pitt with 24 points (8-13 FG) and hit four 3-pointers, Talib Zanna finished with a17 points (8-10 FG) and a game-high nine rebounds and Josh Newkirk came off the bench to score 10 points (4-6 FG) and dish out five assists.
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 24 games by an average margin of 10.7 points per game. Seventeen of Pitt's 23 wins have come by nine or more points and 13 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 73.0 points per game, converting 46.2 percent (800-1731) of field goals, 36.0 percent (167-464) of 3-point field goals and a solid 72.2 percent (569-788) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-6.4 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 62.3 points per game and yielding a 41.1 (685-1666) field goal percentage. Twenty-three of Pitt's 32 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and 17 have been limited to 60 points or less.
Pitt has won 116 of its last 162 overall games, 121 of its last 168, 265 of its last 353 contests, 119 of its last 180 league regular season games and 154 of its last 167 non-conference games.
WAKE FOREST GAME NOTES
With the win, Pitt improves to 24-8 overall. It marked its first-ever game and first-ever win in ACC Tournament play. Pitt advances to the ACC Tournament quarterfinal round against No. 4 seed North Carolina at 2 p.m. ET. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Pitt's 29-point victory against Wake Forest today (84-55) tied a school-record for largest margin of victory in a league tournament game. Previously, Pitt defeated Rhode Island by 29 points (74-45) in the Eastern 8 Tournament on March 6, 1981.
Pitt won its 11th game of the year in games played away from home (7-2 in road contests and 4-1 at neutral sites).
Pitt has now won four of its last five games, including all four away from home.
Pitt shot 50 percent (31-62) on the day. It has now shot 50 percent or better in four of its last five games.
Pitt finished with 20 assists on 31 field goals. Pitt outscored Wake Forest 20-3 on points off turnovers and outscored WF 19-7 on offensive rebounds.
Pitt held Wake Forest to 55 points and 34 percent shooting (18-53). Wake Forest became the 17th Pitt opponent to manage fewer than 60 points. Pitt has also held 23 of 32 opponents below 70 points.
With his 24 points, Lamar Patterson registered his 13th 20-point game of his career and 12th of the year. He reached double figure scoring for the 30th time in 32 games and for the eighth consecutive contest. Patterson scored 10 points in the game's first 20 minutes as the Panthers took a 39-25 lead.
Talib Zanna scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half. He finished with 17 points and nine rebounds on 8-10 shooting from the floor. It marked his 51st career double figure scoring game and 24th of the season.
Josh Newkirk finished with 10 points and five assists. It marked his fifth double figure scoring game of the year and second game with five or more assists. Newkirk has scored 42 points in Pitt's last four games.
Jamie Dixon improved to 22-5 vs. previous ACC teams.
Wake Forest's 29-point margin of defeat represented its second-widest margin of defeat in the ACC Tournament. It lost a 30-point game to Duke in 1966.
Pitt improved to 2-0 all-time vs. Wake Forest.
Lamar Patterson BREAKS PITT CAREER GAMES PLAYED RECORD
Cameron Wright NAMED SKIP PROSSER SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD WINNER
Pitt guard Cameron Wright has been named the recipient of the 2014 Skip Prosser Award, emblematic of the top scholar-athlete in men's basketball, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced today. Wright was presented with the award prior to Pitt's first-ever ACC Tournament game on Thursday against Wake Forest at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The junior business-marketing major from Cleveland, Ohio, gives Pitt a recipient of the prestigious award in its inaugural season in the ACC. The award was created in 2007 to honor the memory of George Edward "Skip" Prosser, who compiled a 291-146 career record in 14 seasons as a head coach, including a 126-68 mark in his six years with Wake Forest. The 2003 ACC Coach of the Year, Prosser won 20-plus games and led the Demon Deacons to the NCAA Tournament in each of his first four seasons in Winston-Salem. Every Wake Forest senior he coached graduated, and the Deacons placed nine players on the annual All-ACC Academic Basketball Team during his tenure.
In order to be nominated for the award, a student-athlete must be an upperclassman with a grade-point average of 3.0 or better - both in his career and in the previous two semesters. Sixty percent of the award is based on academic achievement and 40 percent on athletic accomplishments.
Recently named to the All-ACC Men's Basketball Academic Team, Wright is a four-time recipient of the University of Pittsburgh's Scholar-Athlete Award, and a two-time recipient of the school's Academic Excellence Award. He is also a past winner of the University of Pittsburgh-Jaron Brown Pursuit of Excellence Award and was selected to the Big East All-Academic team on three occasions.
Wright has played a key role in the Panthers' 23-8 season that included 11 ACC regular-season wins. While starting all 31 games this season, Wright has averaged 10.8 points while shooting just over 47 percent from the floor. He has also pulled down 3.4 rebounds per game and ranks third on the team in assists with 2.7 per game. He has reached double figure scoring in 18 games.
Wright is Pitt's fourth all-time conference scholar-athlete award winner in men's basketball. Other award winners include Joey David (1984-85), Darren Morningstar (1991-92) and Aaron Gray (2006-07). He is the second player to earn a men's basketball top scholar-athlete award since Jamie Dixon became head coach in 2003. Earlier this year, it was announced that Pitt led the league with four All-ACC Academic Team selections.
Clemson guard Cliff Hammonds (2008), Miami guard Jack McClinton (2009), Virginia center Jerome Meyinsse (2010) and North Carolina center Tyler Zeller (2011 and 2012) and Duke's Mason Plumlee (2013) are past Skip Prosser Award recipients.
NCAA TOURNAMENT TALK
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). Upon entering tournament play this week, 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).