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PITT BASKETBALL RANKED 11TH IN PRESEASON USA TODAY/ESPN COACHES' POLL




Oct. 20, 2011

PITTSBURGH--The Pitt men's basketball team will open its 2011-12 season ranked No. 11 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll, the publication announced Thursday afternoon. The USA Today/ESPN poll is voted upon by 31 NCAA Division I head coaches.

For the fifth time in the last six seasons and 11th time in school history, Pitt will enter a season ranked among the nation's top-25.

North Carolina earned the nation's No. 1 ranking, followed by No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Connecticut and No. 5 Syracuse. Pitt is one six Big East programs ranked among the nation's top-25 along with Connecticut (No. 4), Syracuse (No. 5), Louisville (No. 8), Marquette (No. 21) and Cincinnati (No. 22).

Pitt returns two starters and seven of its top-10 letterwinners from a squad that won the Big East regular season title outright with a 15-3 record, finished 28-6 overall, garnered a No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive season.

Pitt will host its Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair, Fan Fest and Blue-Gold Men's Basketball Scrimmage on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Petersen Events Center. The Fan Fest/Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair begins at 2:30 p.m. while the scrimmage will tipoff at 5 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public for both events. Free parking is available in the OC Lot. This is also the first opportunity for media and fans to view the 2011-12 Pitt men's basketball team.

Pitt's first exhibition game is on Saturday, Oct. 29 against La Roche College at 4 p.m.

USA TODAY/ESPN PRESEASON COACHES' POLL

Rk.

Team (First Place Votes)

W-L

Points

10-11 Rank

1.

North Carolina (30)

29-8

774

8

2.

Kentucky (1)

29-9

721

3

3.

Ohio State

34-3

702

5

4.

Connecticut

32-9

655

1

5.

Syracuse

27-8

649

18

6.

Duke

32-5

635

7

7.

Vanderbilt

23-11

567

NR

8.

Louisville

25-10

514

22

9.

Memphis

25-10

482

NR

10.

Florida

29-8

474

10

11.

PITT

28-6

471

12

12.

Baylor

18-13

358

NR

13.

Kansas

35-3

331

4

14.

Wisconsin

25-9

313

15

15.

Xavier

24-8

277

NR

16.

Arizona

30-8

269

9

17.

Alabama

24-11

194

NR

18.

Michigan

21-14

187

NR

19.

Texas A&M

24-9

161

NR

20.

UCLA

23-11

147

NR

21.

Marquette

22-15

145

20

22.

Cincinnati

26-9

141

NR

23.

Gonzaga

25-10

125

NR

24.

California

18-15

111

NR

25.

Missouri

23-11

110

NR

Others Receiving Votes
Florida State (23-11) 108; Texas (28-8) 107; Michigan State (19-15) 73; Temple (26-8) 59; Washington (24-11) 29; Butler (28-10) 25; New Mexico (22-13) 22; Creighton (23-16) 19; Villanova (21-12) 18; Purdue (26-8) 17; UNLV (24-9) 16; West Virginia (21-12) 13; George Mason (27-7) 12; Mississippi State (17-14) 11; St. John's (21-12) 11; Saint Mary's (25-9) 5; Virginia (16-15) 5; Virginia Commonwealth (28-12) 4; Drexel (21-10) 2; Kansas State (23-11) 2; Long Beach State (22-12) 2; Brigham Young (32-5) 1; Notre Dame (27-7) 1.