Dec. 26, 2010
MEMORABLE PITT-CONNECTICUT GAMES
December 29, 1979
Pitt 77, Connecticut 72 (ESPN)
Pitt claims a 77-72 win over Connecticut in the Storrs in the Connecticut Mutual Classic. The contest marked Pitt’s first-ever televised game on ESPN.
January 12, 1993
Pitt 80, No. 15 Connecticut 78
An Antoine Jones tip-in with 0.06 seconds left gives Pitt an 80-78 road victory over Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center.
February 20, 1993
No. 3 Connecticut 81, No. 17 Pitt 80
In the series’ lone one-point game, No. 17 Pitt nearly erases a 16-point deficit, but officials don’t make the call as the Panthers try to foul with eight seconds to play and UConn, paced by Kevin Ollie’s 17 points, holds on Fitzgerald Field House.
January 11, 1995
No. 2 Connecticut 85, Pitt 76
Pitt jumped out a 40-15 lead with 5:00 to go before halftime but UConn’s Ray Allen went on to score 19 of his 27 points and No. 2 stages the rivalry’s greatest comeback at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House.
December 12, 1998
No. 1 Connecticut 70, No. 20 Pitt 69
Guard Khalid El-Amin hits the game-winner with two seconds to play for No. 1 ranked UConn and then jumps on the scorer’s table and taunts the stunned Pitt student section to send Fitzgerald Field House into an uproar. Pitt entered the game with a No. 20 national ranking.
March 9, 2002
No. 19 Connecticut 74, No. 7 Pitt 65 (2OT) (ESPN)
Big East Championship Title Game
In the second-longest game in Big East Tournament title game history, UConn claimed a classic 74-65 heartbreaker at Madison Square Garden. Pitt played without the services of Brandin Knight for most of the two overtimes after suffering a sprained knee during the final minute of regulation. Tournament MVP Caron Butler nailed a jumper with 1:58 left in the second overtime which put the Huskies up for good. Butler finished with a game-high 23 points. The nail-in-the-coffin for Pitt was when Taliek Brown hit a 35-foot 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down in the final minute of regulation. The game marked the first of three consecutive meetings between the two schools in the Big East Championship Final.
March 2, 2003
No. 8 Pitt 71, Connecticut 67 (CBS)
Pitt battled back from its largest deficit of the season, a 13-point first half deficit, to register a 71-67 victory over UConn in the two team's first meeting at the Petersen Events Center. Julius Page scored 11 straight points in a key Pitt second half rally to give the Panthers a fashionable lead. UConn shot 68 percent in the first half.
March 15, 2003
Big East Championship Title Game
No. 5 Pitt 74, Connecticut 56 (ESPN)
In one of the most important victories in school history, Pitt claimed its first Big East Tournament title and avenged a 2002 loss in the same event with a 74-56 victory. Julius Page was named tournament MVP. Pitt took control with a 12-4 stretch with 10:10 left in the contest. Jaron Brown scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Tournament MVP Julius Page finished with 16 points and Brandin Knight added 16 points and six assists. Knight’s dive for a loose ball late in the game personified Pitt’s work ethic and determination to win the contest.
January 19, 2004
No. 4 Connecticut 68, No. 8 Pitt 65 (ESPN)
In a matchup that featured the underdog Pitt vs. the preseason No. 1 ranked UConn, Pitt took the Huskies to the limit in dropping a 68-65 loss at Hartford Civic Center. Pitt, which entered the contest with an 18-0 record, had one final chance when Antonio Graves’ 3-pointer at the buzzer missed its mark. The contest featured UConn’s up-tempo style against Pitt’s outstanding defensive pressure. The Huskies led by as many as 10 points in the early-going but the Panthers battled back and led 63-62 with 2:46 to go. But two Denham Brown free throws gave UConn a 68-65 lead with 26 seconds left. Carl Krauser scored a career-high 24 points for Pitt. The game marked Pitt Head Coach Jamie Dixon’s first loss as a head coach.
February 15, 2004
No. 4 Pitt 75, No. 5 Connecticut 68 (ABC)
Dubbed the “Revenge” game with tee-shirts printed for the occasion, Pitt took control of the Big East regular season race with a key 75-68 victory over UConn before a raucous sellout Petersen Events Center crowd. Pitt went on to win the Big East regular season crown with a 13-3 record. Tickets were being scalped outside the arena for as much as $600. Using its trademark defense, Pitt built an early lead and held off the Huskies to win. Four Pitt players scored in double figures led by Jaron Brown’s 17 points and Mark McCarroll’s 15. The game featured the first-ever home matchup between two top-5 teams in school history. With the win, Pitt extended its home win streak to 40 consecutive games, improved to 18-0 at home on the year and to 34-0 in the Petersen Events Center.
March 13, 2004
Big East Championship Title Game
No. 9 Connecticut 61, No. 6 Pitt 58 (ESPN)
UConn’s Ben Gordon gave the Huskies the lead for good as he nailed a driving layup, then added two free throws to give UConn a 61-58 victory over the Panthers. The contest marked the third consecutive Big East Championship title game meeting between UConn and Pitt. It was Pitt that jumped out to a quick start as the Panthers amassed a 34-25 halftime lead using their trademark defense. Pitt became one of only two Big East programs to appear in four straight Big East Championship title games.
January 22, 2005
No. 21 Pitt 76, No. 16 UConn 66 (ESPN)
Fueled by Chevon Troutman’s 25 second half points, Pitt rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Connecticut 76-66 at Gampel Pavilion. The entire state of Connecticut was declared a Federal Disaster Area as the contest was played in the midst of a winter storm. The contest also marked the debut of ESPN Basketball’s College Game Day. Troutman finished with a career-high 29 points as the Panthers outscored UConn 44-23 in the second half. The Panthers trailed by as many as 17 points (43-26 with 2:31 in the first half) but used a 15-1 run to grab a 56-54 early second half lead. UConn was held to 27.6 percent shooting in the second half.
February 26, 2005
No. 17 Connecticut 73, No. 18 Pitt 64 (ESPN)
Connecticut used an 8-0 run to take a seven-point lead with 2:08 left in grabbing a 73-64 win against Pitt at the Petersen Events Center. Charlie Villanueva notched a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, Denham Brown added 16 points and Rudy Gay added 17 points for Connecticut. Pitt was led by Chevon Troutman (22 points and 12 rebounds) and Carl Krauser (21 points).
January 21, 2006
No. 1 Connecticut 80, No. 9 Pitt 76 (ESPN Regional)
Rudy Gay scored 22 points and Josh Boone 16 as No. 1 Connecticut handed No. 9 Pitt an 80-76 defeat at Gampel Pavilion. Pitt’s Aaron Gray finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds in the contest. Pitt battled back from an early nine-point deficit and trailed by one point (72-71) with 1:45 to go, but Gay converted a 3-point play off a steal and layup and Marcus Williams hit 5-6 free throws to hold off the Panthers.
January 16, 2007
No. 6 Pitt 63, Connecticut 54 (ESPN2)
In a game featuring a matchup of two of the nation’s top big men Aaron Gray and Hasheem Thabeet, No. 6 Pitt claimed a 63-54 win over the visiting Huskies. Pitt’s Aaron Gray scored 22 points and grabbed 19 rebounds as the Panthers matched its best-ever start in Big East play with a 5-0 record.
February 2, 2008
Connecticut 60, No. 18 Pitt 53 (CBS)
In a game typical of the Big East’s physical style, Connecticut pulled out a 60-53 decision. UConn scored on each of its last seven possessions and outscored Pitt 9-2 over the game’s final 2:32. Playing without injured starters Levance Fields and Mike Cook, Pitt led by as many as eight points in the first half, but the Huskies rallied back to tie the game 22-22 at halftime despite committing 12 turnovers. DeJuan Blair registered a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds for Pitt.
February 16, 2009
No. 4 Pitt 76, No. 1 Connecticut 68 (ESPN)
DeJuan Blair notched his second 20-20 performance of the year with a 22-point, 23-rebound outing and Sam Young scored 25 points in leading No. 4 Pitt to a 76-68 win over No. 1 ranked Connecticut. The game will forever be remembered for the “flip” when Blair flipped Connecticut center Hasheem Thabeet over his back while battling for a rebound. Blair finished off a first half that saw him score 15 points (including four straight baskets on-on-one possessions against Thabeet) and grab 13 rebounds. The game marked Pitt’s first-ever over the nation’s No. 1 ranked team after losing 14 consecutive vs. the nation’s No. 1 team.
March 7, 2009
No. 3 Pitt 70, No. 1 Connecticut 60 (CBS)
In a much anticipated rematch between eventual co-Big East Most Valuable Player recipients DeJuan Blair and Hasheem Thabeet, it was Pitt’s Sam Young who stole the show as he scored 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading No. 3 Pitt to a 10-point home win, 70-60, over No. 1 Connecticut on Senior Day. After trailing by 10 points at halftime, Connecticut used a 12-0 run to get back into the game, but Young answered with a layup, dunk off a Levance Fields pass and a 3-point play to secure the win for Pitt. Pitt became the seventh school in NCAA Division I history to defeat the nation’s No. 1 ranked team two times in a season. Pitt swept UConn in the series for the first time since 1996-97. Pitt also concluded its season with a perfect 19-0 home record. The crowd of 12,908 marked the largest on-campus crowd in school history. Pitt held Senior Day festivities for Young, Levance Fields and Tyrell Biggs.