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Men's Basketball Opens NCAA Tournament Against Colorado on Thursday




March 19, 2014

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GAME 35: #9 PITT (25-9, 11-7 ACC) vs. #8 COLORADO (23-11, 10-8 Pac-12)

NCAA Championship Second Round • Thursday, March 20, 2014

1:40 p.m. ET • Amway Center (20,000) • Orlando, Fla.

 

MEDIA INFORMATION

Television: TBS (Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner; Sidelines: Kristine Leahy; Producer: Jonathan Seigel).

Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Westwood One Radio: Tom McCarthy and Donny Marshall; Satellite Radio: XM-TBA.

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

Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (287-95).

Rankings: Pitt: AP-NR; USA Today-ARV; Colorado: AP-NR; USA Today-NR (as of March 16, 2014).

Series: Pitt will appear in its 12th NCAA Tournament in the last 13 seasons. It is one of only seven schools nationwide to advance to the NCAA Tournament in 12 of the last 13 years: Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin. It marks its 25th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance. Pitt is 23-25 all-time in 48 NCAA Tournament contests. Pitt is a No. 9 seed for the third time in school history (1993 and 2005). Pitt meets Colorado for the second time in school history. Pitt defeated Colorado 25-23 on Dec. 26, 1931 in Boulder.

 

GAME PREVIEW 

ORLANDO, Fla.--At-large selection and No. 9 seed Pitt (25-9, 11-7 ACC) travels to Orlando, Fla. and the Amway Center to compete in its 12th NCAA Championship in the last 13 years and 25th all-time NCAA Tournament. Pitt faces No. 8 seed Colorado (23-11, 10-8 Pac-12) on Thursday, March 20 in the Second Round. Tipoff is at 1:40 p.m. ET. Pitt's game is the first scheduled contest of the afternoon. The afternoon's second game (1-Florida vs. 16-Albany/Mount St. Mary's) begins at 4:10 p.m. ET.

The contest will be televised nationally on TBS with Brian Anderson (play-by-play) and Pittsburgh native Dan Bonner (color analysis) making the call with Kristine Leahy handling sideline reports. Jonathan Seigel will handle production.

Should Pitt win its Second Round game, it would advance to NCAA Tournament Third Round action against either No. 1 seed Florida (32-2) or Albany/Mount St. Mary's on Saturday, March 22. Tipoff for that contest is TBA and will be announced at later date.

Pitt is one of only seven programs nationally to advanced to 12 of the last 13 NCAA Tournaments. Those programs include Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin.

Pitt is in its 25th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and owns a 23-25 record in 48 NCAA Tournament games. Since 2002, Pitt is 15-11 in its 26 NCAA Tournament games, reaching the Elite Eight once and Sweet Sixteen five times. 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, Jamie Dixon owns an 11-9 record in its 20 NCAA Tournament games and nine appearances. Dixon is 7-2 in NCAA Tournament first games. Since 2001-02, Pitt is 9-2 in the NCAA Tournament First./Second Round.

After winning four of its last six games, including two in advancing to a semifinal game berth in its first-ever ACC Tournament, Pitt enters the NCAA Tournament after placing fifth in the ACC with an 11-7 record, one spot higher than the media predicted it would finish in a preseason poll. With an 83-78 overtime 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 12 of Pitt's 25 wins have come away from the Petersen Events Center (seven wins in away games and five wins in neutral contests). Pitt is a combined 12-4 in games played away from the Petersen Events Center.

Pitt won two of three games at last week's ACC Tournament, registering a 29-point win over Wake Forest, a five-point victory over No. 15 North Carolina (80-75) and dropping a close three-point loss (51-48) to No. 6 and eventual champion Virginia.  Forward Talib Zanna was named to the ACC All-Tournament First Team after averaging 17.0 points and 13.0 rebounds in the tourney, while forward Lamar Patterson was an ACC All-Tournament Second Team honoree.

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 10.1 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 4-0 in overtime games. Pitt's nine losses are by a combined 45 points (5.0 points per game). Three losses have come on last second plays. In five of the nine losses, Pitt held leads deep into the games.

Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 72.5 points per game, converting 46.1 percent (845-1832) of field goals, 35.6 percent (175-491) of 3-point field goals and a solid 71.1 percent (599-843) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-6.3 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 62.4 points per game and yielding a 41.3 (731-1772) field goal percentage. Twenty-four of Pitt's 34 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and 18 have been limited to 60 points or less.


THURSDAY'S TOP STORYLINES

•Pitt earns a No. 9 seed and will travel to Orlando, Fla. to play No. 8 seed Colorado on Thursday, March 20. 

•Pitt earns its second consecutive and 12th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 13 seasons, one of only seven programs nationwide to achieve that distinction. Pitt is appearing in its 25th all-time NCAA Tournament.

•Pitt has won 20 overall and 10 league contests for the 12th time in the last 13 years.

•Pitt enters the NCAA Tournament after winning four of its last six games. It has won 12 games away from home and is 12-4 in those contests (7-2 on the road, 5-2 at neutral sites).

•Over the last 13 years, Pitt ranks fifth in the nation and second in the ACC in overall winning percentage (344-105, .766), league winning percentage (152-70, .685), homecourt winning percentage (.877) and NCAA Tournament appearances (12).

 

NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES

•Pitt earns a No. 9 seed for the third time in program history. Pitt was also a No. 9 seed in both 1993 and 2005.

•Pitt advances to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time in the last 13 years. Pitt is one of only seven programs nationally and one of only two ACC programs to advance to 12 of the last 13 NCAA Tournaments. Those programs include Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin.

•The Panthers are making the program's 25th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and for the 10th time in 11 years under Head Coach Jamie Dixon.

•Pitt has advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen in five of the last 13 seasons: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2009. Only seven programs nationally (Duke-9, Kansas-9, Michigan State-7, Connecticut-6, North Carolina-6, Syracuse-6, Arizona-6) have bested that record and six others have matched it. 

•In its previous 24 NCAA Tournament appearances and 48 games, Pitt owns a 23-25 all-time record in the tourney. It is 13-11 in its last 24 games. As Pitt's head coach, Jamie Dixon owns an 11-9 NCAA Tournament record in his previous nine appearances.

•Pitt enters the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection with a 25-9 overall and 11-7 ACC record. Pitt won 20-plus games for a school record 13th straight season and 21st time in school history. The Panthers also won 10-plus league games for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons.

•Jamie Dixon has now guided Pitt to 10 NCAA Tournaments in his 11 years as head coach at Pitt. That is the most appearances for a head coach in school history. Paul Evans took five Pitt teams to the NCAA Tournament from 1986-94. Dixon has also coached in a school-best 20 NCAA Tournament games.

•Pitt is one of only two ACC schools to surpass the 20-win and 10-win league regular season totals in 12 of the past 13 seasons. Pitt currently ranks second only to Duke with the ACC's top records for league play (152-70) and overall games (344-105) over the last 13 years.