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No. 5 Men's Basketball Plays Texas in 2K Sports/Coaches vs. Cancer Title Game




Nov. 19, 2010

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GAME 5: TEXAS (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) vs. #5 PITT (4-0, 0-0 Big East)

 

2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer • Friday, Nov. 19, 2010

7 p.m. ET • Madison Square Garden (19,528) • New York, N.Y.

 

MEDIA INFORMATION

 

Television: ESPN2 (Dave O'Brien and Dick Vitale; Producer: Eric Mosley).


 

 

 

Radio: Panther Sports Radio Network (Matt Chazanow and Dick Groat), 93.7 The Fan (93.7-FM-KDKA). Satellite Radio: Not available.

 

Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.

 

The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th year as head coach (192-54);

 

Texas: Rick Barnes, 13th year at Texas (297-115), 24th year overall (499-249).

 

Rankings: Pitt: AP-5; ESPN-4. Texas: AP-NR; ESPN: 22.

 

Series: Pitt and Texas meet for the third time. The series tied at 1-1. The two schools met last year on November 24, 2009 in the CBE Classic in Kansas City as No. 3 Texas claimed a 78-62 victory. The other previous meeting was on Nov. 29, 1991, a 91-87 Pitt win at Madison Square Garden in the Preseason NIT.

 

GAME PREVIEW

 

NEW YORK--No. 5 ranked Pitt (4-0) advances to the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer championship game where it will take on Texas (3-0) on Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m at New York's Madison Square Garden. Pitt advances to the title game by defeating Maryland 79-70 in yesterday's first semifinal game and Texas upset No. 13 Illinois 90-84 in overtime late Thursday. Illinois and Maryland will play in the consolation game at 5 p.m.

 

The contest will be televised on ESPN2 with Dave O'Brien (play-by-play) and Dick Vitale (color analyst) making the call. Eric Mosley will handle production.

 

Pitt and Texas meet for the second consecutive season. Last year, Pitt lost a 78-62 decision to No. 3 ranked Texas in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic in Kansas City. Sporting a young, inexperienced team and playing without Gilbert Brown and an injured Jermaine Dixon, Pitt battled and led the contest 34-32 at halftime before Texas went on a 14-3 second half run to claim the win, 78-62. The loss marked Jamie Dixon's first-ever November defeat as he dropped to 35-1 all-time in the month. Gary McGhee, who scored 11 points and totaled 10 rebounds in the game, was named to the CBE Classic All-Tournament team.

 

Pitt and Texas meet for just the third time in series history. Pitt defeated the Longhorns 91-87 in its initial meeting on Nov. 20, 1991, a 91-87 UT victory at Madison Square Garden in the Preseason NIT.

 

Jamie Dixon and Texas have a bit of history. As a junior basketball player at TCU, Dixon swished a last second shot to defeat the Longhorns 55-54 on February 22, 1986. The shot enabled TCU to win a share of the Southwest Conference regular season title. There is an outstanding youtube clip of the shot, entitled the "Miracle" shot. Dixon received an inbounds pass from under his own basket, dribbled up the floor and launched a shot over a UT defender. The shot swished through the basket.

 

Madison Square Garden is Pitt's home away from home as the Panthers have played 36 games there since the 2000-01 season. Since 2000-01, Pitt is 25-11 overall, has claimed two Big East Championship titles (2003 and 2008) and advanced to the Big East title game in seven of the last 10 seasons. Winners of 13 of its last 18 contests at MSG, Pitt owns the best winning percentage in the arena of any sports entity since 2000-01 (1. Pitt, 25-11, .694; 2. Syracuse, 27-15, .643; 3. Connecticut, 16-11, .592; 4. NY Rangers, 164-124-30, .516; 5. St. John's, 46-48, .489; 6. NY Knicks, 157-171, .383). Historically, Pitt appeared in the country's first-ever nationally televised game at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28, 1940, a 57-37 win vs. Fordham. Pitt's roster is always filled with New York area players.

 

This is Pitt's second all-time appearance in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at MSG. In Jamie Dixon's debut as a head coach on Nov. 14, 2004, Pitt defeated Alabama 71-62 in its first ever Coaches vs. Cancer appearance.

 

TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES

 

•Madison Square Garden is Pitt's home away from home as Pitt has been named MSG's college basketball "Team of the Decade," won two Big East titles (2003 and 2008), advanced to the Big East title game in seven of the last 10 years and amassed a 25-11 record in the arena since the 2000-01 season. Pitt has also now claimed 13 of its last 18 games at MSG. Jamie Dixon owns a 17-9 record at the arena.

 

•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).