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Men's Basketball Plays Xavier on Sunday in NCAA Tournament Second Round




March 20, 2010

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GAME 34: #6 XAVIER (25-8, 14-2 Atlantic 10) vs. #3 PITT (25-8, 13-5 Big East)

 

NCAA Tournament Second Round • Sunday, March 21, 2010

Approximately 4:50 p.m. ET/3:50 p.m. CT • 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 (188-53); Xavier: Chris Mack, 1st year overall and 1st year at XU (25-8).

 

Rankings: Pitt: AP-18; ESPN-16. XU: AP-24; ESPN: NR (as of March 15, 2010).

 

NCAA Tournament: Pitt is playing in its school record ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament. 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. 18 ranked Pitt (25-8, 13-5 Big East) advances to NCAA Tournament Second Round action where it will play No. 6 seed Xavier (25-8, 14-2 Atlantic 10) on Sunday at approximately 4:50 p.m. ET/3:50 p.m. CT. The winner will advance to the West Regional and NCAA Sweet Sixteen play in Salt Lake City for a Thursday, March 25 contest against either No. 2 seed Kansas State or No. 7 seed BYU.

 

The game 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.

 

A win against Xavier on Sunday would give Pitt its sixth NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in the last nine seasons. Only two programs nationally have advanced to more or have the opportunity to advance to more: Duke and Kansas with six. Both teams are currently still playing the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

 

Pitt plays Xavier in its second consecutive NCAA Tournament. Pitt won a 60-55 decision on March 26, 2009 in Boston. The win gave Pitt its second all-time NCAA Elite Eight appearance and first since 1974. Levance Fields hit a go-ahead 3-pointer to give Pitt a 55-54 lead with 53 seconds left, then made a steal and converted a layup with 24 seconds to go to give Pitt the win. Pitt is 4-2 all-time vs. Xavier in the six series meetings. Pitt has claimed each of the last three consecutive meetings.

 

Pitt's 25 victories on the season rank tied for the seventh most in school history. The school record is 31 wins set in both 2003-04 (Jamie Dixon's first year) and 2008-09.

 

No. 3 seed Pitt advanced to the NCAA Second Round with an 89-66 victory against No. 14 seed Oakland on Friday. Six Pitt players reached double figures as Pitt used a 19-2 first half run to take a comfortable lead. Pitt also limited Oakland to 33 percent field goal shooting. Gilbert Brown and Jermaine Dixon (five steals) both scored 17 points, Nasir Robinson and Brad Wanamaker (six assists) both added 13 points apiece, Gary McGhee finished with 12 points and Travon Woodall contributed 10.

 

Jamie Dixon NEEDS ONE MORE WIN TO SET NCAA DIVISION I RECORD FOR MOST WINS AFTER THE FIRST SEVEN SEASONS AS A HEAD COACH

 

With one more victory, Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon will set the NCAA Division I record for most victories after the first seven seasons as a head coach. Dixon currently has 188 career wins and is tied with Gonzaga's Mark Few (2000-06) with 188 career wins after seven seasons. With its first round win against Oakland, Dixon improved to 10-6 in the NCAA Tournament.

 

PITT RANKED AMONG NATION'S TOP 20 MOST VALUABLE BASKETBALL PROGRAMS BY FORBES MAGAZINE

 

Pitt was ranked as the No. 18 most valuable college basketball program by Forbes Magazine in its annual ratings released in March. Last year Pitt was ranked No. 20 by the magazine which rates its programs on four different factors: 1. value of contributions to university, 2. net profit generated from program, 3. value contributed to conference and 4. estimated direct spending by visitors to the university's county attributable to basketball games.

 

PITT: ONE WIN AWAY FROM NCAA SWEET SIXTEEN

 

A win against Xavier on Sunday would give Pitt its sixth NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen appearance in the last nine seasons. Pitt is one of only three programs to potentially achieve that honor as both Duke and Kansas have advanced to six of the last eight NCAA Sweet Sixteens. Texas and Connecticut have advanced to five of the last eight. Texas has been eliminated from NCAA Tournament play and UConn played in the NIT.

 

PITT AND BRADLEY CENTER/MILWAUKEE SUCCESS

 

With its win against Oakland on Friday, Pitt improved to 3-0 in NCAA Tournament games at the Bradley Center. In 2004, Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon's first NCAA Tournament as a head coach, Pitt defeated both Central Florida and Wisonsin en route to an NCAA Sweet Sixteen berth. In the last nine seasons, Pitt is 8-1 in NCAA Tournament First Round games and 5-2 in NCAA Tournament Second Round games.

 

NCAA FIRST/SECOND ROUND SUCCESS

 

Pitt has been extremely successful in the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds. Over the last nine seasons (2002-10), Pitt owns a 13-3 combined First and Second Round record. In addition, Jamie Dixon is 9-3 in NCAA Tournament First and Second Round games.

TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES

 

•With a win against Xavier on Sunday, Pitt would advance to its sixth NCAA Sweet Sixteen in the last nine years. Only two programs have advanced to more in the last eight years (Duke-6 and Kansas-6).

 

•Pitt is playing in a school record ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament, 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 (225-64, .793) and league winning percentage (109-41, .727), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (9) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (9).

 

•Pitt is one of the hottest teams in the nation as it has won nine of its last 11 games.

 

•With 188 career wins, National and Big East Coach of the Year candidate Jamie Dixon tied the NCAA Division I wins record after seven seasons as a head coach. His win over Oakland pulled him into a two-way tie with Gonzaga's Mark Few, who won 188 games from 2000-06.