March 18, 2011
GAME 34: #8 BUTLER (24-9, 13-5 Horizon League) vs. #1 PITT (28-5, 15-3 Big East)
NCAA Tournament Third Round Saturday, March 19, 2011 7:10 p.m. ET
Verizon Center (20,600) Washington, D.C.
Television: TBS (Tim Brando and Mike Gminski; Producer: Ross Schneiderman).
Pitt Radio: Panther Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat), 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius/XM: 91/244(Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Pitt Coach: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th year as head coach (216-59).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-3; ESPN-3 (as of March 7, 2011).
NCAA Tourney Notes: Pitt is playing in its 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament. Pitt earns a No. 1 seed for only 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 (28-5, 15-3 Big East) advances to the NCAA Tournament Third Round to play No. 8 seed and Horizon League champion Butler (24-9, 13-5 H.L.) on Saturday at Washington D.C.'s Verizon Center. Pitt's contest will be Saturday's first of a doubleheader at Washington D.C. with tipoff set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
The contest will be nationally televised on TBS with Tim Brando and Mike Gminski handling play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively. Ross Schneiderman will produce the contest.
Should Pitt defeat Butler, it would advance to the NCAA Southeast Regional in New Orleans, La. Those games are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday at the Louisiana Superdome. Tipoff times are TBA. Possible opponents for the Regional Round are either No. 4 seed Wisconsin or No. 5 seed Kansas State.
Should Pitt win, it would advance to its sixth NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen in the last 10 years. Only two programs (Duke-7 and Kansas-6) have advanced to more NCAA Regionals over the last nine seasons and three others (Texas, Connecticut and Michigan State) have matched Pitt's achievement. Five of the six programs are still alive in the 2011 NCAA Tournament (Michigan State lost to UCLA on Thursday).
No. 1 seed Pitt advanced to the NCAA Second Round following a 23-point win over UNC Asheville (74-51) on Thursday. Ashton Gibbs scored 20 of his game-high 26 points in the second half to help lead Pitt to victory. Gibbs set an NCAA Tournament single game record by hitting 6-9 3-pointers as the Panthers outrebounded the Bulldogs 50-27. Nasir Robinson added 12 points and Gary McGhee led the Panthers with a game-high 11 rebounds.
BUTLER AND PITT PLAY FOR FIRST TIME IN 65 YEARS
Pitt and Butler meet for the first time in 65 years. The last time the two schools met was on December 10, 1946, a 41-39 Butler victory in Indianapolis. Pitt owns a 5-7 record against the Bulldogs as the two schools played on a semi-annual basis from 1928-46. All 12 series games were played in Indianapolis.
28 WINS RANKS AMONG ALL-TIME WINNINGEST SEASONS AT PITT
With its 74-51 NCAA Second Round victory over UNC Asheville, Pitt earned its 28th victory, which tied for the fifth most single season wins in school history. The school record is 31 victories, both achieved by Jamie Dixon-coached teams in both 2003-04 and 2008-09. Pitt won 29 games in 2001-02 and 2006-07 and 28 victories in 2002-03 and 2010-11.
PITT NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
For the second time in program history and second time in the last three seasons, Pitt enters an 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 is in its 23rd NCAA Tournament and is 23-23 in 46 NCAA Tournament all-time games. Since 2002, Pitt is 15-9 in its 24 NCAA Tournament games, reaching the Elite Eight once and Sweet Sixteen five times. The last time Pitt reached an NCAA Final Four was in 1941 in an eight-team invitational. 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 an 11-7 record in his 18 NCAA Tournament games. Dixon improved to 7-1 in NCAA Tournament First Round games. Since 2001-02, Pitt is 9-1 in the NCAA Tournament First Round.
BIG EAST REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS
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.
GIBBS, WANAMAKER EARN USBWA ALL-DISTRICT 2 HONORS
Guards Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker both earned United States Basketball Writers Association All-District Team honors the organization announced. Gibbs was also named to the NABC All-District 5 First Team, while Wanamaker earned NABC All-District 5 Second Team honors.
SATURDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
A win on Saturday would give Pitt its sixth NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen appearance in the last 10 years. Upon entering the NCAA Tournament, Pitt is one of only six programs to advance to the Sweet Sixteen at least five times over the last nine years (Duke-7, Kansas-6, Pitt-5, Texas-5, Michigan State-5 and Connecticut-5).
Pitt has advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons. Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt owns a 13-4 combined First and Second Round record. Jamie Dixon improved to 7-1 in NCAA Tourney First Round games. Combining First and Second Rounds, Dixon is 9-4.
Winners of nine of its last 12 games, Pitt is playing in its 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament, one of only seven programs nationally to achieve that distinction.
Pitt and Butler meet for the first time in 65 years. Pitt is 5-7 all-time vs. Butler with the last meeting taking place in 1946.