Dec. 26, 2010
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GAME 14: #4 CONNECTICUT (10-0, 0-0 Big East) at #6 PITT (12-1, 0-0 Big East)
Monday, December 27, 2010 8:30 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN2 (Bob Wischusen and Bill Raftery; Producer: Eric Mosley).
Radio: Panther Sports Radio Network (Bill Hillgrove, Dick Groat and Curtis Aiken), 93.7 The Fan (93.7-FM-KDKA). Satellite Radio: Sirius Channel 122 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
The Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 12th year at Pitt, 8th year as head coach (200-55); Connecticut: Jim Calhoun, 25th year at UConn (585-221), 39th year overall (833-358).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-6; ESPN-6. Connecticut: AP-4; ESPN-4 (as of Dec. 20, 2010).
Series: Pitt and Connecticut meet for the 58th time in series history with UConn holding a 30-27 advantage, although Pitt has claimed four of the last five matchups. Pitt is 8-5 vs. UConn since March, 2003 is 4-1 in the last five matchups played at the Petersen Events Center. Both teams enter the game ranked among the nation's top-25 for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings.
PITTSBURGH--No. 6 ranked Pitt (12-1) opens Big East regular season play when it hosts No. 4 Connecticut (10-0) on Monday, December 27 at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (color analyst) calling action. Eric Mosley will handle production.
The Pitt-Connecticut matchup pairs each of the Big East's top two winningest programs of the 21st Century. Since the 2001-02 season, Pitt has compiled the Big East's best overall winning percentage (.796, 257-66) and league's best regular season record (109-41), while Connecticut ranks second in both categories with a .748 overall winning percentage (235-79) and 103-47 league record. During that period, Pitt has made nine NCAA Tournament appearances, while UConn has made seven. The two schools have met in three of the last nine Big East Championship Finals. In the last nine years, both programs rank among the nation's top five in NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances with five. Over the series' last 11 games, Pitt has claimed six with every game decided by 10 points or less. In 10 of the last 11 matchups, both teams entered the game as a top-25 nationally ranked team. Once again, both programs enter the matchup ranked among the nation's top-25.
Connecticut represents Pitt's eighth opponent at the Petersen Events Center which ranks among the nation's top-5 teams. Pitt is a perfect 7-0 vs. top-5 opponents at the Petersen Events Center and 12-4 vs. top-25 ranked opponents since the arena opened in November, 2002.
With a 61-46 victory over American on Dec. 22, Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon reached the 200-career victory plateau. He currently has a 200-55 career record. Dixon tied the NCAA Division I record for quickest to 200 wins in only eight seasons, matching the record held by Gonzaga's Mark Few and Kansas' Roy Williams. He ranks among the all-time top-15 in quickest to 200 victories (No. 13) in regards to total games (see charts on page 4). He also becomes the fastest coach in school history to reach the 200-win plateau and only the second coach to reach that mark in school history (see chart on page 6). The only other coach in school history to win 200 games is H.C. "Doc" Carlson, who recorded a 367-247 record over 31 years from 1922-53. Dixon (199-55) became the first head coach in school history to guide Pitt to seven consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. With his 188 wins, Dixon tied the NCAA Division I all-time record for most victories after seven seasons as a head coach. He tied Gonzaga's Few, who held the record with 188 wins from 2000-06. In 2008-09, Dixon also set the NCAA Division I record for most wins after the first six seasons as a head coach.
Pitt concluded its non-conference schedule with a 61-46 win over American. With its 12-1 record, Pitt has now won 10 non-conference victories for a 10th consecutive season. Since Pitt joined the Big East Conference in 1982-83 and prior to this run, Pitt has won 10 or more non-conference games in only the three previous years. This year marks the 13th season and 10th consecutive year that Pitt has won 10 or more non-conference games.
At home, Pitt has won 16 consecutive home games and is 9-0 this year. It concluded last season with a 17-1 home record and recently concluded a 31-game home win streak. It also is 57-10 vs. Big East opponents at the Petersen Events Center. In addition, Pitt owns a 55-game win streak against non-conference opponents at home. Pitt also owns an 84-1 record vs. non-conference opponents in the Petersen Events Center and has claimed 105 of its last 106 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
Pitt is in its ninth season in the Petersen Events Center with a 141-11 all-time record and .928 winning percentage. The .928 winning percentage ranks among the nation's best homecourt records over the last eight years (see chart page 8). Pitt has won 62 of its last 72 Big East home games. Only two opponents (Louisville and Georgetown) have defeated the Panthers two times in the Petersen Events Center.
MONDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Today's matchup features the Big East's top two winningest programs over the last 10 years. Since the 2002-03 season, Pitt owns a 257-66 overall and 109-41 league record while UConn is 235-79 overall and 103-47 in Big East play. Both teams enter the game ranked among the nation's top-25 for the 11th time in the last 12 meetings.
Pitt is 7-0 vs. top-5 ranked teams in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt is in its ninth season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 141-11 record (.928 winning percentage) in the arena. Pitt owns a 57-10 record vs. Big East opponents at the PEC. Riding a 16-game home win streak, Pitt has won 47 of its last 48 home games.
Over the last nine seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (257-66, .796), league winning percentage (109-41, .727), consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (9) and most 20-win, 10-win Big East years (9).