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Pitt-Oakland Game Preview




March 15, 2010

Pitt NCAA Tournament Central | Game Notes | Oakland Basketball | Big East Basketball |

GAME 33: #14 OAKLAND (26-8, 17-1 Summit League) vs. #3 PITT (24-8, 13-5 Big East)

 

NCAA Tournament First & Second Rounds • Friday, March 19, 2010

Approx. 2:55 p.m. ET • Bradley Center (18,600) • Milwaukee, Wis.

MEDIA INFORMATION


 

 

Television: CBS Sports (Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel; Producer: Ross Schneiderman).

 

Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970-AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: TBA.

Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.

 

The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 11th year at Pitt, 7th year as head coach (187-53); Oakland: Greg Kampe, 26th year at OU (445-322), 26th year overall (445-322).

 

Rankings: Pitt: AP-16; ESPN-16. OU: AP-NR; ESPN: NR (as of March 8, 2010).

NCAA Tournament: Pitt enters its school record ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed. Pitt is one of only seven programs to advance to each of the last nine NCAA Tournaments. In addition, the Panthers have advanced to five of the last eight NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteens. Last year, Pitt advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 1974.

 

GAME PREVIEW

 

MILWAUKEE, Wis.--No. 3 seeded and No. 16 ranked Pitt (24-8, 13-5 Big East) travels to Milwaukee, Wis. and the Bradley Center to compete in its school record ninth consecutive and 22nd all-time NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Pitt plays No. 14 seed Oakland (26-8, 17-1 Summit League) on Friday at approximately 2:55 p.m. ET/1:55 p.m. CT.

 

The contest will be nationally televised by CBS Sports with Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel handling play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively. Ross Schneiderman will handle production.

 

Should Pitt win its First Round game, it would advance to NCAA Second Round action against either No. 6 Xavier (24-8) or No. 11 Minnesota (21-13) on Sunday, March 21. Tipoff time for that contest is TBA. If it wins both games, Pitt would advance to its sixth NCAA Sweet Sixteen in the last nine seasons.

 

Pitt earns a school record ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth. Previously, Pitt had made three straight 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 nine seasons: Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin. Pitt has also advanced to NCAA Sweet Sixteen play in five of the last eight seasons. Only two programs (Duke-6 and Kansas-6) has surpassed that accomplishment and two others (Connecticut-5 and Texas-5) have matched it. Pitt leads the Big East in most consecutive NCAA Tournaments with nine. The next closest streak in the league is Villanova with six straight tourney appearances. Pitt also ranks among national leaders in NCAA Tournament wins over the last eight seasons with 13.

 

Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon (187-53) became the first head coach in school history to guide Pitt to seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Dixon needs just one more victory to tie the NCAA Division I all-time record for most victories after seven seasons as a head coach. Gonzaga's Mark Few holds the record with 188 wins from 2000-06. Last year, Dixon set the NCAA Division I record for most wins after the first six seasons as a head coach.

 

For the second time in Pitt's NCAA Tournament history, Pitt travels to Milwaukee and the Bradley Center for the NCAA First and Second Rounds. Pitt was also sent to Milwaukee in 2004 as the No. 3 seed where it defeated No. 14 Central Florida 53-44 on March 19 and No. 6 Wisconsin 59-55 before a pro-Badger crowd on March 21. The 2004 tournament marked Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon's first NCAA Tournament wins. He is 5-1 in NCAA Tournament First Round games. Since 2001-02, Pitt is 7-1 in the NCAA Tournament First Round.

 

Pitt enters its 22nd all-time NCAA Tournament. It is 21-22 in 43 all-time NCAA Tournament games. Since 2002, Pitt is 13-8 in its 21 NCAA Tournament games, reaching the Elite Eight once and Sweet Sixteen five times. In a 64-team tournament 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 9-6 record in his 15 NCAA Tournament games.

 

Pitt enters the NCAA Tournament with a 24-8 overall record and 13-5 Big East record. The 13 league wins tie for the second highest win total in Big East play since the Panthers joined the conference in 1982-83. Pitt set the record with 15 wins in 2008-09. Pitt also won 13 Big East regular season games in 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04. In addition, the two-year period from 2008-10 has proven to be Pitt's all-time winningest two-year league period in school history with 28 total wins (15 in 2008-09 and 13 in 2009-10).

 

For the second straight year, Pitt begins NCAA Tournament play after losing its first game in the Big East Championship. No. 2 seed Pitt dropped a 50-45 decision to No. 7 seed Notre Dame in a March 11 Big East Championship Quarterfinal. In games played after losing a contest, Jamie Dixon owns a 35-11 all-time record.

 

Ranked in the top-15 in the RPI prior to the NCAA Tournament, Pitt is the nation's only college basketball program with three wins over top-5 nationally ranked teams: No. 5 Syracuse, No. 5 West Virginia and No. 3 Villanova. In four of Pitt's seven losses-Texas, Indiana, at Seton Hall and South Florida-Pitt played without either Jermaine Dixon or Gilbert Brown for the entire game or for an extended period of time. The only "bad loss" on Pitt's NCAA Tournament resume is a loss to Indiana in the Jimmy V Classic. That loss occurred without Brown and marked Dixon's return game after he had not practiced.

 

For a Big East leading ninth consecutive season, Pitt has won 20 or more overall games and claimed 10 or more league wins. Pitt is the only school to achieve that honor in the Big East in each of the last nine seasons. Pitt won its 20th game on Feb. 18 at Marquette and picked up its 10th league win on Feb. 21 vs. Villanova. Prior to this stretch, the most consecutive 20-win seasons for Pitt Basketball was two in both 1986-87 and 1987-88. The 2009-10 season marks the program's 17th all-time 20-win season in 103 years of Pitt Basketball. Jamie Dixon also became the first head coach in school history to win 20 or more games in seven consecutive seasons.

 

At home, Pitt concluded its season with a 17-1 record on the year and recently concluded a 31-game home win streak. It also is 57-10 vs. Big East opponents at the Petersen Events Center. In addition, Pitt owns a 46-game win streak against non-conference opponents at home. Pitt also owns a 75-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center and has claimed 96 of its last 97 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.

 

Pitt completed its eighth season in the Petersen Events Center with a 132-11 all-time record and .923 winning percentage. The .923 winning percentage ranks among the nation's best homecourt records over the last eight years (see chart page 8). Pitt has won 62 of its last 72 Big East home games. Only two opponents (Louisville and Georgetown) have defeated the Panthers two times in the Petersen Events Center.

 

Over the last nine years, Pitt has proven to be the winningest basketball program in the Big East Conference and one of the nation's top-5 winningest programs. From 2001-10, Pitt owns the league's top record in overall games (244-64) and in league games (109-41). It has averaged 12.0 league wins and 27.5 overall wins per year during that period. Pitt is the only Big East Conference school to win 20 or more overall games and 10 or more league contests in each of the last nine seasons. Pitt's streak of nine consecutive 10-win Big East regular seasons ranks second to only Syracuse's run of 11 10-plus win league seasons set from 1985-96. Pitt has now won 20 or more games for the 17th time in school history. In addition, Pitt is one of only three programs nationwide to advance to the NCAA Tournament, win 20 overall games and 10 league games in each of the last eight seasons. Those programs include Gonzaga, Kansas and Pitt. In addition, Jamie Dixon became the first head coach in program history to win 20-plus games in seven straight years. He is the only coach in school history to guide Pitt to a 30-win season (two times: 31 in 2003-04 and 30 in 2008-09).

 

TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES

 

•Picked ninth by league coaches in the Big East's preseason poll, Pitt enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed.

 

•Pitt advances to the NCAA Tournament for a school record ninth consecutive season, one of only seven programs nationally to achieve that distinction.

 

•Over the last nine seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (244-64, .792) and league winning percentage (109-41, .727), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (9) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (9).

 

•Winners of eight of its last 10 games, Pitt is one of only three programs to win 20+ games, 10+ league games and advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last nine seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas, Pitt).

 

•With 187 career wins, National and Big East Coach of the Year candidate Jamie Dixon ranks tied for second on the all-time NCAA Division I wins list after seven seasons as a head coach. The record is 188 wins held by Gonzaga's Mark Few from 2000-06.

 

•Under Dixon, Pitt is 35-11 following a loss.

 

NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES

     Pitt makes its 22nd all-time NCAA Tournament appearance. Here are some notes concerning Pitt in the NCAA Tourney:

 

•Pitt earns a No. 3 seed. The No. 3 seed ranks among Pitt's all-time top seedings upon entering the NCAA Tournament. Pitt was a No. 1 seed last year in 2009, a No. 2 seed two times (1988 and 2003) and a No. 3 seed five times (1987, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2010).

 

•Pitt advances to the NCAA Tournament for a school record ninth straight season. Previously, Pitt made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1987-89.

 

•Pitt is making the school's 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and seventh straight year under Jamie Dixon. The Panthers have received automatic bids in four seasons: 1981, 1982, 2003 and 2008 and at-large bids in 18 different years.

 

•Pitt is one of only seven programs nationwide to advance to each of the last nine NCAA Tournaments. Those programs include: Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin.

 

•In its 21 NCAA Tournament appearances and 43 games, Pitt owns a 21-22 all-time record. Dixon is 9-6 in his previous six appearances in NCAA Tournament play with one NCAA Elite Eight appearance (2009) and three NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances (2004, 2007 and 2009).

 

•Pitt has advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen in five of the last eight seasons: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2009. Only two programs have surpassed that mark (Duke-6 and Kansas-6) during that timeframe and two others have matched it (Connecticut-5 and Texas-5).