Nov. 10, 2011
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GAME ONE: ALBANY (16-16, 9-7 America East in 2010-11) at #10 PITT (28-6, 15-3 Big East in 2010-11)
Friday, November 11, 2011 7 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: Pitt Panthers Television/ESPN3/ESPN Full Court/SNY (Jeff Hathhorn and Curtis Aiken; Producer: Bill Shissler).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Jim Colony and Dick Groat), 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius, N/A (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Pitt Coach: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (216-60); Albany: Will Brown, 11th year at Albany (129-165), 11th year overall (129-165).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-10; ESPN-11; Albany: unranked (preseason polls).
Series: Pitt and Albany meet for the second time in basketball history. Pitt is 1-0 all-time vs. Albany, claiming an 83-54 decision over the Great Danes on November 28, 2003. Pitt is 11-0 all-time vs. America East Conference opponents. The Panthers' last America East foe was New Hampshire on Dec. 4, 2009, a 47-32 victory.
PITTSBURGH--No. 10 ranked and defending Big East regular season champion Pitt opens its 105th season of men's basketball on Friday, Nov. 11 when it hosts Albany (16-16, 9-7 AE in 2010-11) at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.
The contest will be regionally televised on Pitt Panthers Television and made available on SNY in New York City, ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court package subscribers. Jeff Hathhorn and Curtis Aiken will handle play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively. Bill Shissler will manage production.
A win over Albany would give Pitt its 15th consecutive season opening victory since the 1997 season. Pitt enters the contest with a 71-33 all-time record 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.
A win against Albany would give Pitt its 57th consecutive home win over a non-conference opponent. That streak is a school record. Pitt has also won 105 of its last 106 home games against regular season non-conference opponents and is 84-1 vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center. At the Petersen Events Center, Pitt has never lost a November (39-0) or December (40-0) non-conference game.
Pitt claimed each of its two exhibition contests against NCAA Division III La Roche College (101-33) and NCAA Division II No. 15 ranked Kentucky Wesleyan (76-67) on Monday night. With the two victories, Pitt has now won 26 consecutive exhibition games dating back to a Nov. 10, 1998 loss to Marathon Oil. Head Coach Jamie Dixon is a perfect 18-0 in exhibition games since he became head coach in 2003-04 and the Panthers improved to 16-0 in exhibition contests since the NCAA cleared other NCAA Division schools for competition.
Pitt returns two starters and seven of its top-10 scorers from a 2010-11 team that finished 28-6 overall, won the Big East regular season title outright with a 15-3 record, earned its second all-time No. 1 seed upon entering the NCAA Tournament and advanced to its league-best 10th straight tourney.
Pitt was picked by league coaches to finish fourth in the Big East this season and Ashton Gibbs was named the Big East's preseason Player of the Year. The Panthers return 58.6 percent of their scoring, 55.3 percent of their rebounding and 57.7 percent of minutes played.
Departed from Pitt's roster are All-Big East Second Team guard Brad Wanamaker, athletic small forward Gilbert Brown and burly center Gary McGhee.
Under head coach Will Brown, Albany finished 16-16 overall and 9-7 in the America East Conference. The Great Danes registered a nine-win improvement from the previous season, a mark that ranks as the second-best one year turnaround in school history. Albany was picked to finish fourth in the America East Conference by league coaches.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt opens its 105th season of men's basketball on Friday evening against Albany.
Pitt begins its 10th season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 149-12 record (.925) in the arena. Pitt also owns an 84-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 55 of their last 57 home games.
Pitt is riding a 56-game home win streak against non-conference opponents and has won 105 of its last 106 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (273-71, .794), league winning percentage (124-44, .738), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (10) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (10).
Pitt is one of only three programs nationally to win more than 20+ games, 10+ league games and advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last 10 seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas and Pitt).