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Men's Basketball Begins Big East Play at Notre Dame on Tuesday




Dec. 25, 2011

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GAME 14: #15 PITT (11-2, 0-0 Big East) at NOTRE DAME (8-5, 0-0 Big East)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 • 7 p.m. ET • Purcell Pavilion at Joyce Center (9,149) • South Bend, Ind.

MEDIA INFORMATION

Television: ESPN2 (Dave O'Brien and Bob Knight; Producer: Eric Mosley).

Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat) 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-93 (Pitt feed), 129 (ND feed); XM-129 (ND feed).

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


 

 

Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (227-62); Notre Dame: Mike Brey, 12th year at Notre Dame (246-125), 17th year overall (345-177).

Rankings: Pitt: AP-15; ESPN-13; Notre Dame: AP-NR; ESPN-NR (as of Dec. 19, 2011).

Series: Pitt and Notre Dame meet for the 57th time in series history with Notre Dame holding a 27-29 advantage. Notre Dame has won each of the last three meetings including each of the last two at the Joyce Center. Pitt's three-game losing streak vs. the Fighting Irish ties for its longest winless streak in the series which began in 1927. Pitt is 9-17 all-time in games played at Notre Dame. Pitt coach Jamie Dixon has put together a 6-4 record vs. the Fighting Irish.

GAME PREVIEW

SOUTH BEND, Ind.--No. 15 ranked and defending Big East regular season champion Pitt (11-2) opens Big East Conference play when it travels to Notre Dame for a Tuesday, Dec. 27 contest. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.

Tuesday's contest will be nationally televised on ESPN2 with Dave O'Brien and Bob Knight calling action. Eric Mosley will manage production.

Pitt enters its 30th year of Big East Conference competition with an 11-2 record. The Panthers concluded non-conference competition with a 59-54 loss to Wagner on Dec. 23. Pitt committed 18 turnovers and registered season-lows for field goal percentage (39.6 percent, 19-48) and 3-point percentage (13.3 percent, 2-15) in the loss. Ashton Gibbs led Pitt with 14 points. The loss marked Pitt's third non-conference loss in 94 home non-conference games over the last 10 years. Pitt also dropped to 156-14 all-time in the Petersen Events Center.

Pitt improved to 11-1 with a 71-47 home win over St. Francis, Pa. on Dec. 20. Pitt jumped out to leads of 13-0, 19-2 and then 27-4 en route to the win. Pitt outrebounded SFU 42-21 and outscored the Red Flash 44-16 in the paint. Three Panthers reached double figure scoring including J.J. Moore (15 points), Dante Taylor (14 points, eight rebounds) and Lamar Patterson (11 points).

Pitt concludes non-conference play with 10 or more wins for the 11th straight year. In the previous 12 seasons (1988-2001), Pitt failed to win 10 non-conference games at least one time.

TUESDAY'S TOP STORYLINES

•Pitt enters Big East play at Notre Dame. Pitt has won each of its last three BEC openers.

•Pitt has won 24 of its last 32 road games, completed the 2010-11 season with a school-best 7-2 Big East road slate and owns the Big East's best road record (52-32) over the last 10 seasons.

•Pitt leads the nation in rebound margin. It has registered a plus-17.8 rebound margin combining each of the last five games.

•Following a loss, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 41-11 record.

•Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (284-73, .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).