Nov. 9, 2010
GAME TWO: ILLINOIS-CHICAGO (8-22, 3-15 Horizon League in 2009-10) at #5 PITT (1-0, 0-0 Big East)
2K Sports Classic/Coaches vs. Cancer Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010
7 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: Live on ESPN3.com (John Sanders and Curtis Aiken; Producer: Eric Lilly). Tape delay: the ESPN3.com broadcast will air at 9:30 p.m. ET on Pitt Panthers Television on The Comcast Network (Channel 188 or 210).
Radio: Panther Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove/Rob King, Dick Groat), 93.7 The Fan (93.7-FM-KDKA). Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 122 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th year as head coach (189-54); Illinois-Chicago: Howard Moore, 1st year at UIC (0-0), 1st year overall (0-0).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-5; ESPN-4. Illinois-Chicago: AP-NR; ESPN: NR.
Series: Pitt and Illinois-Chicago meet for the first time in series history. Against current Horizon League opponents, Pitt owns a 19-11 overall record (Butler 5-7, Cleveland State 5-2, Detroit 0-1, Wright State 3-0, Youngstown State 6-1).
PITTSBURGH--No. 5 ranked Pitt (1-0) plays its second game of the year on Wednesday, Nov. 10 when it hosts Horizon League opponent Illinois-Chicago (8-22, 3-15 HL in 2009-10) at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET. The game marks Pitt's second of two 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer contests that Pitt will play at the Petersen Events Center as Pitt defeated Rhode Island 83-75 to begin its season.
The contest will be available on ESPN3.com with John Sanders (play-by-play) and Curtis Aiken (color analyst) making the call. ESPN3.com's Eric Lilly will handle production.
A win against Illinois-Chicago would give Pitt its 49th consecutive home win over a non-conference opponent. That streak is a school record. Pitt has also won 97 of its last 98 home games against regular season non-conference opponents and is 76-1 vs. non-conference competition at the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt's 83-75 season opening win over Rhode Island on Monday night gave Pitt its 15th consecutive season opening victory since the 1997 season. Pitt improves to 71-33 all-time in its 104 season openers dating back to the 1905-06 season. It has won 20 of its last 21 season openers and Jamie Dixon is a perfect 8-0 on opening night. Brad Wanamaker led all scorers with 24 points and eight assists, Ashton Gibbs finished the night with 22 points and Talib Zanna added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds in the win.
Pitt claimed each of its two exhibition games over both NAIA Division II Northwood, Fla. (104-62) and NCAA Division II Indiana, Pa. (73-56). Both opponents enter the year as nationally ranked squads heading into the new season. Northwood, Fla. defeated NCAA Division I Florida Atlantic this week. With the victories, Pitt has now won 24 consecutive exhibition games dating back to a Nov. 10, 1998 loss to Marathon Oil. Head Coach Jamie Dixon is a perfect 16-0 in exhibition games since he became head coach in 2003-04 and the Panthers improved to 14-0 in exhibition games since the NCAA cleared other NCAA Division schools for competition.
Pitt returns four starters and seven of its top eight scorers from a 2009-10 team that finished 25-9 overall, ranked second in the Big East regular season with a 13-5 record, advanced to its ninth straight NCAA Tournament and earned a No. 3 seed upon entering the tourney. Last year's squad entered its season picked to finish ninth by the Big East league coaches. Pitt lost only one starter (Jermaine Dixon) from last year's team and returns 86 percent of its scoring, 88 percent of its rebounding and 84 percent of minutes played.
Illinois-Chicago returns three starters and nine letterwinners from a 2009-10 squad that finished 8-22 overall and in ninth place in the Horizon League at 3-15. The last Horizon League opponent that Pitt played was Youngstown State on November 28, 2009, a 72-56 Pitt win at the Petersen Events Center. Pitt is 19-11 all-time vs. Horizon League foes.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is in its ninth season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 133-11 record (.924 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 76-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 39 of their last 40 home games.
Pitt is riding a 48-game home win streak against non-conference opponents. Pitt has won 97 of its last 98 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
Over the last nine seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (245-65, .790), 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 only three programs to win more than 20+ games, 10+ league games and advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last nine seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas, Pitt).