March 15, 2009
PITTSBURGH-For the first time in school history, the University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team will enter an NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed when it travels to Dayton, Ohio to play No. 16 seed East Tennessee State in a First Round matchup on Friday. An at-large selection, Pitt (28-4, 15-3 Big East) meets No. 16 seed and 2009 Atlantic Sun Champion ETSU (23-10, 14-6 Atlantic Sun) on Friday at UD Arena. Tipoff is at approximately 2:50 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Oklahoma State-Tennessee contest which begins at 12:25 p.m. All games will be televised nationally on CBS.
The No. 1 seed marks yet another team achievement for Pitt in a year filled with milestones for the program. Earlier this year, the Panthers ascended to the nation's No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history. Pitt also defeated the nation's No. 1 team for the first time in school history, twice. In addition, Pitt set a school-record with 15 Big East regular season wins and completed its home season undefeated (19-0) for the fourth time in school history. Pitt's senior class of Tyrell Biggs, Levance Fields and Sam Young set a school-record for most victories over a four-year period (currently at 109).
The Pitt-ETSU winner will advance to the NCAA Second Round to face the winner of No. 8 seeded Oklahoma State (22-11) and No. 9 seed Tennessee (21-12). That contest is scheduled for Sunday, March 22. Game time is TBA. Sunday's winner advances to the East Regional and NCAA Sweet Sixteen competition. Those contests are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday, March 26 and 28 in Boston, Mass.
Pitt (28-4, 15-3 Big East) is making a school-record eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance after earning berths in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and now 2009. Prior to that run, Pitt appeared in three straight NCAA Tournaments in 1987, 1988 and 1989. Since 2002, Pitt is one of only six schools nationwide to advance to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen at least four times over the last seven years (Duke-5, Kansas-5, Texas-5, Pitt-4, Connecticut-4, UCLA-4). Additionally, Jamie Dixon has guided Pitt to NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his first six seasons as head coach. He becomes the first coach in school history to guide Pitt to six straight NCAA Tournaments.
Pitt is one of only eight programs nationally to advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last eight seasons. Those schools include: Arizona, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin.
Pitt, which has won 10 of its last 17 NCAA Tournament games, is making its 21st all-time NCAA Tournament appearance. Pitt is 18-21 all time in 39 NCAA Tournament games.
Biggs, Fields and Young become the ninth, 10th and 11th players in school history to advance to the NCAA Tournament in four consecutive seasons. Chevon Troutman, Mark McCarroll, Carl Krauser, Antonio Graves, Aaron Gray, Levon Kendall, Keith Benjamin and Ronald Ramon are the eight other players to achieve that distinction.
PITT'S 2009 NCAA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
FIRST AND SECOND ROUNDS: Dayton, Ohio. (UD Arena)
Friday, March 20, 2009
No. 1 seed Pittsburgh (28-4) vs. No. 16 seed East Tennessee State (23-10), Time: TBA (CBS)
No. 8 seed Oklahoma State (22-11) vs. No. 9 seed Tennessee (21-12), Time: TBA (CBS)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Pitt-ETSU Winner vs. Oklahoma St.-Tennessee Winner, Time: TBA (CBS)
PITT'S 2009 NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES
*Pitt advances to the NCAA Tournament for a school record eighth consecutive year.
*Pitt is making the school's 21st all-time NCAA Tournament appearance, a school-record sixth straight year under Head Coach Jamie Dixon.
*Pitt has advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen in four of the last seven seasons: 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007. Only three programs (Duke-5, Kansas-5 and Texas-5) have bested that record and two others have matched it (Connecticut-4 and UCLA-4).
*Pitt is one of only eight programs to advance to each of the last seven consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Those programs include Arizona, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin.
*In its 20 NCAA Tournament appearances and 39 games, Pitt owns an 18-21 all-time record in the tourney. It is 8-7 in its last 15 games. As Pitt's head coach, Jamie Dixon owns a 6-5 NCAA Tournament record in his previous five appearances.
*Pitt enters the NCAA Tournament with a 28-4 overall record and 15-3 Big East record. Pitt won 20-plus games for a school record eighth straight season and 16th time in school history. Pitt also won 10-plus Big East games for a school record eighth straight season.
*Pitt is the only Big East school to surpass the 20-win and 10-win Big East regular season totals in each of the last eight seasons. Pitt currently owns the league's top records for league play (96-36) and overall games (217-55).
PITT'S HISTORY OF NCAA TOURNAMENT SEEDS
Note: Seeds were not used in Pitt's first five NCAA Tournament appearances in 1941, 1957, 1958, 1963 and 1974.
Year Seed First Round Site
1981 10 El Paso, Texas
1982 10 Pullman, Wash.
1985 12 Tulsa, Okla.
1987 3 Tucson, Ariz.
1988 2 Lincoln, Neb.
1989 8 Indianapolis, Ind.
1991 6 Louisville, Ky.
1993 9 Nashville, Tenn.
2002 3 Pittsburgh, Pa.
2003 2 Boston, Mass.
2004 3 Milwaukee, Wisc.
2005 9 Boise, Idaho
2006 5 Auburn Hills, Mich.
2007 3 Buffalo, N.Y.
2008 4 Denver, Colo.
2009 1 Dayton, Ohio