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Men's Basketball Plays Cincinnati in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday

Talib Zanna scores two of his 10 points against Youngstown State on Saturday.

Talib Zanna scores two of his 10 points against Youngstown State on Saturday.

Dec. 16, 2013

DIGITAL GAME PROGRAM: Jimmy V Classic (Loyola Marymount, Youngstown State, Cincinnati at MSG) | 

Game Notes |  Game Day Central |  ESPN3 Live Game Watch |  Pitt-Cincinnati Live Stats |  V Foundation/Jimmy V Classic |  Madison Square Garden |  Cincinnati Basketball | 

GAME 11: CINCINNATI (7-2, 0-0 AAC) vs. PITT (10-0, 0-0 ACC)

Jimmy V Classic • Tuesday, December 17, 2013 • 7 p.m. ET

Madison Square Garden (19,763) • New York, N.Y.

 

MEDIA INFORMATION

Television: ESPN (Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas, Sidelines: Andy Katz; Producer: Eric Mosley).

Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG Sports Network (Bill Hillgrove and Dick Groat). 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-Channel 119 (Pitt feed), XM-N/A (Pitt feed).

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

Pitt Coach: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (272-86); Cincinnati: Mick Cronin, 8th year at UC (142-101); 11th year overall (211-125).

Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; USA Today-ARV; Cincinnati: AP-NR; USA Today-NR (as of Dec. 9, 2013).


 

 

Series: Pitt and Cincinnati meet for the 19th time in series history. The series is tied at 9-9. Pitt has won six of the last eight meetings, including a 62-52 win at Cincinnati on Feb. 9, 2013. The two schools are previous Big East Conference rivals. Previously, Pitt and Cincinnati met at Madison Square Garden on one other occasion: in the Big East Tournament on March 12, 2008, a 70-64 Pitt victory. Pitt went on to capture the 2008 Big East Championship.

 

GAME PREVIEW

NEW YORK, N.Y.--Undefeated Pitt (10-0) plays its 11th game of its inaugural year in the Atlantic Coast Conference on Tuesday, Dec. 17 when it travels to New York City and its "Home Away From Home" of Madison Square Garden to play former Big East Conference rival Cincinnati in the Jimmy V Classic. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.

The game will be nationally televised on ESPN with Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analysis) and Andy Katz (sidelines) making the call. Eric Mosley will handle production.

For the eighth time in the last 11 seasons under head coach Jamie Dixon, Pitt is off to a perfect 10-0 start to a season. Despite its undefeated record, Pitt is unranked. It's an unfamiliar position for Pitt, which has been ranked in 80 percent (173 of 217) of the nation's last top-25 Associated Press polls. One of only 15 undefeated teams nationally, Pitt has won its 10 games by an average plus-21.0 points per game margin and nine of its 10 by 17 points or more. Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 82.6 points per game, converting 49.5 percent (291-588) of its field goals, 34.6 percent (55-159) of its 3-point field goals and an amazing school-record pace 75.6 percent (189-250) of its free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-12.2 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 61.6 points per game and yielding a 40.3 percent (215-534) field goal percentage. Nine of Pitt's 10 opponents have been held to 70 points or less.

Madison Square Garden is Pitt's "Home Away From Home." Since 2001, Pitt owns a 30-16 record at Madison Square Garden, including Big East Championship titles in both 2003 and 2008. Pitt also advanced to the Big East Championship Final in seven of the last 13 seasons and has claimed 18 of its last 28 games at MSG. Pitt's game against Cincinnati will mark its 90th all-time game at Madison Square Garden since January 17, 1935. Pitt is 45-44 in such games. Pitt's roster features four players and two assistant coaches with New York-New Jersey ties. Derrick Randall (Brooklyn), Chris Jones (Teaneck, N.J.), Lamar Patterson and Michael Young (both attended St. Benedict's Prep, N.J.), Barry Rohrssen (Brooklyn) and Brandin Knight (East Orange, N.J.) all have local ties, while head coach Jamie Dixon was born in New York.

Pitt is making its third all-time appearance in the Jimmy V Classic event. Pitt defeated Memphis 70-51 on Dec. 7, 2004 and lost to Indiana 74-66 on Dec. 8, 2009.

This is Pitt's second visit to New York City this season. On November 25-26, Pitt played two games in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center) as part of the Progressive Legends Classic. The Panthers captured the title with consecutive victories over Stanford (88-67) and Texas Tech (76-53). Lamar Patterson was named tournament MVP and ACC Player of the Week and Cameron Wright was an all-tournament selection for their respective efforts.

With Saturday's 91-73 win over Youngstown State, Pitt has now won 10 or more non-conference games for the 13th consecutive season. Pitt's current 10-game win streak also ranks tied for its 10th longest win streak in school history. Against Youngstown State, Pitt led by as many as 26 points, outrebounded the visiting Penguins by 26 boards (47-21) and set a season-high for points (91). Five Pitt players reached double figures led by Lamar Patterson (18 points).

Cincinnati enters Tuesday's game with a 7-2 record following 64-47 loss to Xavier on Saturday. Coached by Mick Cronin, Cincinnati is led by Sean Kilpatrick (19.3 ppg.), Justin Jackson (9.6 ppg.) and Titus Rubles (9.4 ppg.). Pitt and Cincinnati meet for the 19th time with the series deadlocked at 9-9. For the past eight seasons, Pitt and Cincinnati were members of the Big East Conference.

At home, Pitt is on a nine-game home win streak and 17-game consecutive win streak against non-conference opponents at home. Pitt also owns a 108-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center and has won 129 of its last 133 home games against regular season non-conference opponents. Since the Petersen Events Center opened in 2002, Pitt owns a 54-2 record in November non-conference games and a 52-2 record in December games.

 

TUESDAY'S TOP STORYLINES

•Pitt is off to its eighth perfect 10-0 start to a season in the last 11 years under Jamie Dixon. Pitt is one of 15 undefeated teams at the NCAA Division I level.

•Madison Square Garden is Pitt's "home away from home" as it owns a 30-16 record in the arena since 2001. Pitt was named MSG's "Team of the Decade" after winning two BEC titles (2003 and 2008) and advancing to the BET Final in 7 of the last 13 years.

•Four Pitt players are from the NY-NJ area: Derrick Randall (Brooklyn), Chris Jones (Teaneck, N.J.), Lamar Patterson and Michael Young (St. Benedict's Prep, N.J.). Asst. coaches Barry Rohrssen (Brooklyn) and Brandin Knight (East Orange, N.J.) are also natives.

•When comparing ACC basketball programs over the last 12 years, Pitt ranks second among league programs in overall winning percentage (329-96, .774), league winning percentage (141-63, .691), homecourt winning percentage (.895) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).