March 15, 2014
GAME 34: #5 PITT (25-8, 11-7 ACC) vs. #1 VIRGINIA (26-6, 16-2 ACC)
ACC Tournament Semifinal Saturday, March 15, 2014 1 p.m. ET
Greensboro Coliseum (23,300) Greensboro, N.C.
Television: ESPN (Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas, Sidelines: Jeannine Edwards; Producer: Phil Dean). ACC Network (Tim Brant and Mike Gminski; Sidelines: 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 84 (ESPN radio feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (287-94).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-NR; USA Today-ARV; Virginia: AP-6; USA Today-8.
Series: No. 5 seeded Pitt is competing in its first all-time ACC Tournament and third ACC Tournament game after defeating Wake Forest 84-55 on Thursday and North Carolina 80-75 on Friday. Pitt plays Virginia for the second time this season as the Cavaliers claimed a 48-45 decision on Feb. 2, 2014. Pitt owns a 3-8 all-time record vs. Virginia in a series dating back to Dec. 27, 1951. Virginia has claimed each of the last four matchups.
GREENSBORO, N.C.--As winners in five of its last six games, Pitt (25-8, 11-7 ACC) advances to the Semifinal Round of its first-ever ACC Tournament to play No. 1 seed and No. 6 ranked Virginia (26-2, 16-2 ACC) on Saturday, March 15. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. ET at Greensboro Coliseum. The winner advances to the 2014 ACC Tournament Title game on Sunday, March 16 at 1 p.m. ET.
The Pitt-Virginia contest will be televised nationally on ESPN with Dan Shulman (play-by-play) and Jay Bilas (color analysis) making the call, Jeannine Edwards handling sideline reports and Phil Dean producing. 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.
Pitt advanced to the ACC Tournament semifinals with an 80-75 quarterfinal win over No. 15 ranked North Carolina and an 84-55 Second Round win over Wake Forest on Thursday.
With his 19 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, Talib Zanna led Pitt to an 80-75 win over North Carolina yesterday at Greensboro Coliseum. Pitt jumped out to an early lead, extended it to as many as 18 points (27-9) with 5:56 left in the first half and led by 10 at halftime (36-26). Pitt continued its strong play as it built a 20-point lead (61-41) with 7:22 left to play. But North Carolina, using a full-court press, battled back into the game and Pitt held off the TarHeels for the win. James Robinson (5-7 FG, 8-12 FT) scored a career-high 19 points, Lamar Patterson added 12 points and Cameron Wright 11 in the Pitt effort. Zanna grabbed a career-high tying 10 offensive rebounds, a mark that tied for the ACC Tournament record in that statistical category.
On Thursday, Pitt registered its largest-ever league tournament win in defeating Wake Forest by 29 points. 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 25 games by an average margin of 10.7 points per game. Seventeen of Pitt's 25 wins have come by nine or more points and 13 of its 25 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 73.2 points per game, converting 46.4 percent (827-1768) of field goals, 36.1 percent (172-477) of 3-point field goals and a solid 71.2 percent (590-829) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-6.5 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 62.7 points per game and yielding a 41.1 (710-1727) field goal percentage. Twenty-three of Pitt's 33 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and 17 have been limited to 60 points or less.
Pitt has won 117 of its last 163 overall games, 122 of its last 169, 266 of its last 354 contests, 119 of its last 180 league regular season games and 154 of its last 167 non-conference games.
PITT IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
Pitt is 2-0 in its first-ever ACC Tournament, averaging 82.0 points per game and shooting 50.9 percent (58-114) from the floor. Talib Zanna is averaging 18.0 points and 15.0 rebounds per game while shooting 69.6 percent (16-23) from the floor. Lamar Patterson is averaging 18.0 points and 5.0 rebounds and James Robinson leads the team with nine assists and is contributing 10.5 points per game. Josh Newkirk and Cameron Wright both adding 9.5 points per game.
SATURDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
No. 5 seed Pitt advances to ACC Tournament Semifinal play where it faces No. 1 seed Virginia. A win would give Pitt a berth in a conference tournament championship game for the first time since 2008. In 2008, Pitt won the Big East Championship by winning four consecutive games. Previously Pitt won two titles (2003 and 2008) and advanced to a league record seven of eight Big East Championship Finals from 2001-08.
Pitt has won five of its last six games, including all five away from home.
Pitt's NCAA Tournament resume includes a 25-8 overall record, 11-7 league record and a league-best 7-2 road record. Pitt has won 12 games away from home (7 on road/5 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. It has advanced to 11 of the last 12 NCAA Tournaments.