Dec. 8, 2011
GAME 10: OKLAHOMA STATE (6-2) vs. #15 PITT (8-1)
Carquest Auto Parts Classic Saturday, December 10, 2011
2:30 p.m. ET Madison Square Garden (19,763) New York, N.Y.
Television: ESPN2 (Dave Pasch, Bill Raftery and Jeff Van Gundy; Producer: Scott Gustafson).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat) 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-n/a; XM-193 (OSU feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (224-61); Oklahoma State: Travis Ford, 4th year at OSU (71-39), 15th year overall (255-183).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-15; ESPN-14; Oklahoma State: AP-NR; ESPN-NR.
Series: Pitt and Oklahoma State meet for the 10th time with the Panthers holding a 5-4 advantage. The two schools have split four meetings (2-2) over the last seven years: a 63-51 OSU win in the 2004 NCAA Regional in Newark, N.J.; 95-89 OSU double overtime win in 2006 All-College Classic in Oklahoma City; an 85-68 Pitt win at PEC in 2007 and an 84-76 Pitt win in the 2009 NCAA Tournament First Round in Dayton, Ohio.
NEW YORK--No. 15 ranked and defending Big East regular season champion Pitt (8-1) travels to New York City and Madison Square Garden to play Oklahoma State (6-2) in the Carquest AutoParts Classic on Saturday, Dec. 10. Tipoff is at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch, Bill Raftery and Jeff Van Gundy providing play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively. Scott Gustafson will manage production.
Madison Square Garden is Pitt's "home away from home" as the Panthers have played 38 games there since the 2000-01 season. Since 2000-01, Pitt is 26-13 overall, has claimed two Big East Championship titles (2003 and 2008) and advanced to the Big East title game in seven of the last 11 seasons. Winners of 14 of its last 21 games at MSG, Pitt owns the best winning percentage in the arena of any sports entity since 2000-01: 1. Pitt, .667, 26-13; 2. Syracuse, .652, 30-16; 3. Connecticut, .636, 21-12; 4. St. John's, .528, 56-50; 5. New York Rangers, .512, 185-142-34; 6. New York Knicks, .485, 180-191. Historically, Pitt appeared in the country's first-ever nationally televised game at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28, 1940, a 57-37 win over Fordham. Pitt's roster is always filled with New York area players including Tray Woodall (Brooklyn), J.J. Moore (Brentwood), Dante Taylor (Greenburgh), Isaiah Epps (Plainfield, N.J.) and Ashton Gibbs (Scotch Plains, N.J.). Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon was born in New York City and his family lived there. Dixon, who was named Madison Square Garden's "Coach of the Decade," owns an 18-11 record at MSG, claimed the 2008 Big East Tournament title, 2k Sports Classic/Coaches vs. Cancer title (2010) and guided Pitt to four Big East Championship title games.
Oklahoma State enters the game on a three-game win streak and a 6-2 overall record. The Cowboys' two losses have come to Stanford (82-67) and Virginia Tech (59-55). OSU is led by Le'Bryan Nash (12.6 ppg.), Keiton Page (12.0 ppg.) and Markel Brown (10.6 ppg.).
On a six-game win streak, Pitt enters its 10th game with an 8-1 record. Pitt defeated VMI 97-70 on Tuesday, Dec. 6 and Pitt set a school record for rebounds (60) and a Petersen Events Center record for most points scored in a half (57 in the first half) en route to the win. Nasir Robinson notched his second consecutive double-double (19 points/14 rebounds), Ashton Gibbs scored 20 points and three others added double figure scoring off the bench: J.J. Moore (16), John Johnson (13) and Dante Taylor (10).
SATURDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Madison Square Garden is Pitt's "home away from home." Pitt was named MSG's "Team of the Decade" for 2000-10 period as the Panthers have amassed a 26-13 record in the arena since 2000-01. Pitt has also claimed 14 of its last 21 games at MSG.
At MSG, Pitt has won two Big East Tournament titles, advanced to seven league tournament title games in the last 11 years and owns the best winning percentage of any sports team in the arena since the 2000-01.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (281-72, .796), league winning percentage (124-44, .740), 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).