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Men's Basketball Ranked No. 24 in AP and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll

Talib Zanna against Kennesaw State on Sunday.

Talib Zanna against Kennesaw State on Sunday.

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team earned its first national ratings of the 2012-13 season when it was ranked No. 24 in this afternoon’s Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ poll. Pitt earned 189 total votes in the Associated Press poll and garnered 97 votes in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ poll.

Pitt is one of six Big East Conference teams ranked in both top-25 polls: No. 4/3 Louisville, No. 8/8 Cincinnati, No. 9/7 Syracuse, No. 15/18 Georgetown, No. 21/20 Notre Dame and No. 24/24 Pitt.

Pitt (12-1) returns to the national rankings for the first time in 19 weeks. The last time Pitt was ranked was on Dec. 26, 2011. Prior to the past year, Pitt spent a string of 40 consecutive weeks in the national rankings. The Panthers have been ranked in 166 of the last 198 national polls, have spent at least one week ranked among the nation’s top-10 in each of the last 11 seasons (2002-12) and ascended to the No. 1 ranking for a total of three weeks during the 2008-09 season.

No. 24 Pitt begins Big East Conference play on Monday, Dec. 31 at the Petersen Events Center against No. 8 Cincinnati (12-0). Tipoff is at noon. Pitt enters the game with a perfect 12-0 record vs. top-10 ranked opponents at the Petersen Events Center. 

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