Dec. 19, 2008
GAME 12: #3 PITT (11-0, 0-0 Big East) at FLORIDA STATE (11-1, 0-0 ACC)
Sunday, December 21, 2008 5:30 p.m. ET Donald L. Tucker Center (12,100) Tallahassee, Fla.
Television: Fox Sports Net-National/FSN Pittsburgh (ACC Game of the Week) (Tim Brando, Mike Gminski; Sidelines: Jenn Hildreth; Producer: Bob Steinfeld).
Radio: Pitt Panthers/ISP Sports Radio Network (Rob King and Dick Groat), 94.5-FM (WWSW), 970 AM (WBGG). Satellite Radio: Not Available.
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 10th year at Pitt, 6th year as head coach (143-40); Florida State: Leonard Hamilton, 7th year at FSU (117-87); 21st year overall (317-297).
Rankings: Pitt: 3-AP, 3-ESPN; Florida State: unranked.
Series: Pitt and Florida State meet for the 10th time in college basketball. Pitt owns an 8-1 all-time
record vs. Florida State. Pitt has won each of the last five games in the series.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--No. 3 ranked Pitt (11-0) travels to Tallahassee, Fla. to play Florida State (11-1) on Sunday, Dec. 21 at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The contest marks Pitt's final non-conference game before it has a nine-day holiday break, then begins its Big East portion of the schedule on Dec. 31 at Rutgers.
The contest will be nationally televised on Fox Sports Net National with Tim Brando (play-by-play) and Mike Gminski (color commentary), along with Jenn Hildreth (sideline reports) making the call. Bob Steinfeld will produce.
For the second consecutive year, Pitt begins a season with an 11-0 start. Head Coach Jamie Dixon has guided Pitt to 10-0 starts in each of his first six seasons as head coach. Additionally, Jamie Dixon has guided Pitt to six of the top-10 best starts to a season in school history.
According to www.realtimerpi.com, Pitt is ranked No. 4 nationally in Ratings Percentage Index and No. 28 nationally in the strength of schedule rankings (as of Dec. 19, 2008). Pitt also has the best RPI and highest strength of schedule rating in the Big East Conference.
Pitt is one of 14 schools nationwide to own an undefeated college basketball record. Pitt is one of two schools to own a current 11-0 record (Clemson is also 11-0). BYU, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Illinois State all have 10-0 records (as of Dec. 19).
This week, the University of Pittsburgh is one of four NCAA Division I schools to be ranked nationally in the sports of football, men's basketball and women's basketball. The four schools include Pitt, Ohio State, Texas and Oklahoma.
Pitt is currently on an 11-game home win streak after defeating Siena (79-66), Maryland-Baltimore County (91-56), Vermont (80-51) and "City Rival" Duquesne (78-51). In defeating Siena, DeJuan Blair totaled his seventh double-double of the year with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Against UMBC, Pitt scored a season-high 91 points and tied Petersen Events Center and Jamie Dixon Era records with 14 3-pointers. Sam Young scored 28 points and DeJuan Blair registered his sixth double-double of the year (13 points/16 rebounds) against Vermont. Against Duquesne, Young paced the Panthers with a game-high 23 points, DeJuan Blair added a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds (10 offensive), Jermaine Dixon contributed 12 points and Levance Fields added 11 assists in the 27-point victory.
Through its first 11 games, Pitt has outscored its opponents by a plus-22.0 margin and outrebounded its opponents by a plus-10.9 margin. The Panthers are also converting 48.7 percent (329-675) of their field goal attempts and limiting opponents to 36.6 percent shooting. Pitt has also held all 11 of its opponents to 70 points or less and seven teams to 60 points or less.
Several Pitt players are ranked among national leaders in various statistical categories (as of Dec. 14, 2008). DeJuan Blair ranks third nationally in rebounding (12.8) and most likely leads the nation in offensive rebounds. Levance Fields ranks No. 5 in assist:turnover ratio (3.94) and 14th in assists per game (6.7), while Sam Young is rated 28th in scoring (20.6).
Pitt and Florida State meet for the 10th time in series history with Pitt holding an 8-1 advantage. The Panthers have won each of the last five consecutive meetings dating back to an 83-76 loss on Dec. 21, 1984. The two schools meet for the third time in the last five years. The contest marks the return trip for two home games against Florida State at Pitt's Petersen Events Center.
Florida State enters the game with an 11-1 record and riding a four-game win streak which includes consecutive victories over Florida (57-55), Georgia State (62-57), Tennessee Tech (69-59) and Charleston Southern (71-48). The Seminoles are led by Toney Douglas' 17.7 ppg. while Chris Singleton averages 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds.
TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES
At 11-0, Pitt is one of only 14 undefeated teams nationally.
Pitt plays its first road game of the season. Earlier this year, the Panthers played two neutral site contests. The contest marks its final non-conference game before Pitt begins Big East play on Dec. 31.
Pitt is off to its second consecutive 11-0 start to a season. Dixon has won at least 10 straight games to start each of his six seasons at Pitt.
Pitt has won seven of its last nine non-conference road games under Jamie Dixon (2003-08).
Jamie Dixon is 37-3 in December games. He concluded his sixth November at Pitt with a perfect 31-0 record in November games. He is 71-4 vs. non-conference opponents and 89-10 at home.
Pitt enters the game ranked No. 4 nationally in RPI and No. 28 in strength of schedule.
COURTSIDE: Pitt Goes Retro in Win Over No. 17 FSU
Pittsburgh upsets No. 17 Florida State 80-66
GAME NOTES: Panthers Host No. 17 Florida State Saturday
Pitt Falls to Virginia Tech 66-63
GAME NOTES: Pitt Seeks Third Straight Win Tuesday Evening
COURTSIDE: Panthers Top Syracuse for Sixth Time in Seven Games