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No. 5 Men's Basketball Hosts Miami, Ohio on Monday at 7 p.m.




Nov. 15, 2008

Pitt Basketball GameDay |  Pitt Game Notes |  Miami (OH) Basketball |  Big East Men's Basketball |  Mid-American Conference Basketball | 

GAME TWO PREVIEW

 

MIAMI, OHIO (1-1, 0-0 MAC) at #5 PITT (1-0, 0-0 Big East)

 

Monday, November 17, 2008 • 7 p.m. ET • Petersen Events Center (12,508) • Pittsburgh, Pa.

 

MEDIA INFORMATION

 


 

 

Television:

ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh (Michael Reghi, Dave Kaplan; Producer: Bill Shissler). Broadcast live on other affiliates including Denver, Colo. (Altitude) and New Orleans, La. (Cox-New Orleans). Tape delay: Washington, D.C./Baltimore/Maryland (MASN) at 10:30 p.m. ET Monday night and New York City (SportsnetNY) on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.

Radio:

Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Channel 130 (Pitt feed).

Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats:

www.pittsburghpanthers.com

 

COACHES

Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 10th year at Pitt, 6th year as head coach (133-40); Miami, Ohio: Charlie Coles, 13th year at Miami, Ohio (208-156), 19th year overall (300-240).

RANKINGS

 

Pitt: 5-AP, 6-ESPN; Miami, Ohio, unranked.

 

SERIES

 

Miami, Ohio and Pitt meet for the 13th time in men's basketball. Miami, Ohio holds a 10-2 advantage in the series which began in 1953. Pitt is 31-26 all-time vs. MAC schools.

 

GAME PREVIEW

 

PITTSBURGH--No. 5 ranked Pitt (1-0) plays its second game of the 2008-09 men's basketball season on Monday, Nov. 17 when it hosts Miami, Ohio (1-1) at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.

 

The contest will be televised by ESPN Regional and aired locally on FSN Pittsburgh. Michael Reghi and Dave Kaplan will handle play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively, while Bill Shissler will produce.

 

An 86-63 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday evening gave Pitt its 12th consecutive season opening victory since the 1997 season and its 29th straight home win over a non-conference opponent. The 29 consecutive non-conference home wins are a new school record. Pitt also won 28 straight from Nov. 23, 2002-Jan. 2, 2005. Pitt owns a 57-1 record in games against non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center.

 

Pitt is one of only four schools nationally to be ranked in the sports of football, men's basketball and women's basketball. Those schools include: Pitt, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.

 

Miami, Ohio enters the contest with a 1-1 record after dropping a close 64-59 loss at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion. The Redhawks own a 10-2 all-time series advantage against Pitt.  The two teams' last meeting was on January 30, 1968. Pitt has won each of its last five matchups against Mid-American Conference opponents dating back to a 78-73 overtime loss to Kent State in the 2002 NCAA Regionals. Pitt is 31-26 all-time vs. MAC schools.

 

Four players made their first-ever appearance at Pitt in Friday's 86-63 win over FDU. Levance Fields made a surprise start and finished with 15 points, eight assists and no turnovers. Jermaine Dixon made his first start at Pitt, while Travon Woodall, Ashton Gibbs, Nasir Robinson all saw their first career action. DeJuan Blair registered his 15th career double double with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Last week, Pitt claimed each of its two exhibition games. The Panthers defeated Seton Hill 102-51 on Nov. 2 and followed that performance with an 82-30 win over LaRoche on Nov. 9.

 

Pitt begins its 2008-09 season after winning the 2008 Big East Tournament and completing a 27-10 and 10-8 Big East slate last year. The school unveiled a new championship banner prior to tipoff in its season opener vs. FDU. Last year, Pitt earned a school record seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament berth and won its second all-time Big East Championship. Pitt is one of only six schools nationally to appear in at least four Sweet Sixteens since 2002. Those programs include Duke (5), Kansas (5), Texas (5), UCLA (4), Pitt (4) and Connecticut (4). Pitt is one of only nine schools nationally to advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last seven seasons. The other schools include Arizona, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin. Pitt is the only Big East Conference basketball program to advance to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last seven seasons. Villanova currently has a streak of four straight seasons in the NCAA Tournament.

 

Over the last seven years, Pitt has proven to be the winningest Big East Conference basketball program. From 2001-08, Pitt owns the league's top records for both league play (81-33) and overall games (189-51). It has averaged 11.6 league wins and 27 overall wins per year during that period. Pitt is the only Big East Conference school to win 20 or more overall games and 10 or more league contests in each of the last seven seasons. Last year, Pitt also set a school record with its seventh consecutive 20-overall win and 10-league win season. Prior to the 2001-02 season, Pitt won 20 or more games in only two consecutive seasons. Last year, Pitt also set a school record with its seventh consecutive 20-overall win and 10-league win season. Prior to the 2001-02 season, Pitt won 20 or more games in only two consecutive seasons. The 2007-08 season marked Pitt's 15th all-time 20-win season. In addition, Pitt is one  of only four schools nationwide to advance to the NCAA Tournament, win 20 overall games and 10 league games in each of the last six seasons. Those programs include Arizona, Gonzaga, Kansas and Pitt.

 

Last season, Jamie Dixon (133-40) became the first head coach in school history to guide Pitt to five consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Additionally, Dixon has guided Pitt to Sweet Sixteen appearances in two of his first five seasons as Pitt's head coach (2004 and 2007). Dixon (133 career wins) is the first coach in school history to win 20 or more games in five consecutive seasons. His 132 victories rank tied for the third most victories for a head coach after five seasons in NCAA history. North Carolina State's Everett Case totaled 137 wins from 1947-51.

 

Dixon enters the Miami, Ohio game with an undefeated 25-0 career record in November games. In addition, he is 33-3 in contests played in December. Combining his November and December pre-conference games, Dixon owns a 58-3 record and is 61-4 overall vs. non-conference foes. Previously, Dixon won 45 consecutive games in both November and December before dropping a contest at No. 7 Wisconsin on Dec. 16, 2006.

 

TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES

 

•No. 5/6 Pitt returns six of its top nine players to a team that won the 2008 Big East Tournament title, finished 27-10 last year and advanced to its seventh straight NCAA Tournament.

 

•Pitt set its school-record for consecutive victories against non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center with its 29th straight on Friday vs. FDU. Pitt won 28 consecutive non-conference home games from Nov. 23, 2002-Jan. 2, 2005.

 

•Pitt is in its seventh season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 97-10 all-time record (.907 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 57-1 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center. Additionally, Pitt has won 78 of its last 79 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.

 

•Pitt has won five consecutive games against MAC teams dating back to a 78-73 overtime loss to Kent State in the 2002 NCAA Regionals. Pitt is 31-26 all-time vs. MAC opponents and 2-10 all-time vs. Miami.