Nov. 20, 2008
GAME 3: AKRON (2-0, 0-0 MAC) at #6 PITT (2-0, 0-0 Big East)
Legends Classic Friday, November 21, 2008 7 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
ESPN Regional/FSN Pittsburgh (John Sanders, Mark Adams; Producer: Bill Shissler). Broadcast live on FSN Pittsburgh, in New York City (SportsnetNY), Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI) and in the entire state of Iowa (Mediacom in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Rochester-Mason) and on tape delay in the Baltimore/Maryland/Washington, D.C. area (MASN) at 11:30 p.m.ET.
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
Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 10th year at Pitt, 6th year as head coach (134-40); Akron: Keith Dambrot, 5th year at Akron (94-38), 11th year overall (202-108).
Pitt: 6-AP, 6-ESPN; Akron, unranked.
Akron and Pitt meet for the fourth time. Pitt owns a 2-1 advantage in the series which began in 1910-11. Pitt has won six straight vs. MAC schools and is 32-26 all-time vs. the MAC.
PITTSBURGH--No. 6 ranked Pitt (2-0) plays its third game of the 2008-09 men's basketball season when it hosts its second consecutive Mid-American Conference opponent in Akron (2-0) on Friday, Nov. 21 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. John Sanders and Mark Adams will handle play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively, while Bill Shissler will produce. The game will also be carried live on several other affiliates throughout the nation including live in New York City (SportsnetNY), Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI) and in the entire state of Iowa (Mediacom in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City and Rochester-Mason) and on tape delay in the Baltimore/Maryland/Washington, D.C. area (MASN) at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Pitt enters the contest with a 2-0 record after defeating Miami, Ohio (82-53) on Nov. 17 and Fairleigh Dickinson (86-63) on Nov. 14 in the season opener. Through its first two games, Pitt has outscored its opponents by a 26.0 margin and outrebounded its opponents by a plus-9.0 margin. The Panthers are also converting 57.1 percent (68-119) of their field goal attempts and limiting opponents to 36.4 percent shooting.
Levance Fields registered his first career double-double (12 points/12 assists), Jermaine Dixon contributed 14 points and Sam Young added 14 points in leading Pitt to its win over Miami, Ohio. Pitt went on a 16-2 run to start the second half and converted 64.3 percent of its shots to register the win. Four players made their first-ever appearance at Pitt in an 86-63 win over FDU. 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.
Akron enters the contest with a 2-0 record after defeating both Canisius and Winthrop. The game marks the fourth meeting between the two schools with Pitt holding a 2-1 advantage in a series which began in 1910-11. The two schools last played in 1987. Akron returns two starters from a 2007-08 team that finished 24-11 and advanced to NIT Second Round play last year.
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 (191-51). 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 (134-40) 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 Akron game with an undefeated 26-0 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 59-3 record and is 62-4 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.
Pitt is in its seventh season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 98-10 all-time record and .908 winning percentage in the building. The .908 winning percentage ranks among the nation's best home court records over the last six years (see chart page 8). Pitt has won 45 of its last 54 Big East home games and is 40-9 against Big East opponents in the Petersen Events Center. Louisville is the only opponent to defeat Pitt two different times in the Petersen Events Center on Feb. 24, 2008 (75-73 decision). Pitt also owns a 58-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center. Pitt has also won 79 of its last 80 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is riding a 30-game win streak against non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center. The 30 wins mark a school record.
Pitt is in its seventh season in the Petersen Events Center and needs just two more victories to register its 100th win in the arena. Pitt carries a 98-10 all-time record (.908 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 58-1 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center. Additionally, Pitt has won 79 of its last 80 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
Pitt has won six consecutive games against MAC teams dating back to a 78-73 overtime loss to Kent State in the 2002 NCAA Regionals. Pitt is 32-26 all-time vs. MAC opponents. The two schools meet for the fourth time in series history.
Jamie Dixon owns a perfect 26-0 record in November games. He is 62-4 vs. non-conference opponents and 82-10 at home.