Dec. 31, 2011
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GAME 15: CINCINNATI (10-3, 0-0 Big East) at #22 PITT (11-3, 0-1 Big East)
Sunday, January 1, 2012 7 p.m. ET Petersen Events Center (12,508) Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPN Regional/ROOT Sports (Rob King and Brooke Weisbrod; Producer: John Wilson).
Television Affiliates: New York City (MSG), Washington, D.C. (MASN), Atlanta, Ga. (College Sports Southeast), Baltimore (MASN), Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI), Cincinnati, Ohio (FSN-Ohio), New Orleans, La. (Cox-NO), Providence, R.I. (Cox-NE), Green Bay-Appleton, Wis. (TW-WI2) and Denver, Colo. (Altitude-2).
Pitt Radio: Pitt IMG College Sports Radio Network (Jim Colony, Dick Groat, Curtis Aiken) 93.7 The Fan, 93.7 FM; Satellite Radio: Sirius-128 (Pitt feed); XM-191 (Pitt feed).
Internet Radio Broadcast/Live Stats: www.pittsburghpanthers.com.
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 13th year at Pitt, 9th year as head coach (227-63); Cincinnati: Mick Cronin, 6th year at UC (97-80), 9th year overall (166-104).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-22; ESPN-22; Cincinnati: AP-NR; ESPN-NR (as of Dec. 26, 2011).
Series: Pitt and Cincinnati meet for the 16th time with Pitt holding an 8-7 advantage in a series dating back to 1950. Pitt has claimed each of the last five meetings in the series by a combined 8.6 points per game. Since Cincinnati joined the Big East in 2005-06, Pitt owns a 7-1 record vs. the Bearcats. In addition, Pitt is an undefeated 4-0 vs. Cincinnati in games played at the Petersen Events Center. Dixon owns a 7-1 all-time record vs. UC.
PITTSBURGH--No. 22 ranked and defending Big East regular season champion Pitt (11-3, 0-1 Big East) plays its second Big East Conference contest when it hosts Cincinnati (10-3, 0-0 Big East) for a Sunday, Jan. 1 game. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET at the Petersen Events Center.
Sunday's contest will be televised by ESPN Regional and broadcast locally on ROOT Sports in Pittsburgh. Rob King and Brooke Weisbrod will handle play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively while Pittsburgh native John Wilson will produce. The broadcast will also be available in 11 total markets including New York City (MSG), Washington, D.C. (MASN), Atlanta, Ga. (College Sports Southeast), Baltimore (MASN), Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI), Cincinnati, Ohio (FSN-Ohio), New Orleans, La. (Cox-NO), Providence, R.I. (Cox-NE), Green Bay-Appleton, Wis. (TW-WI2) and Denver, Colo. (Altitude-2).
Pitt enters Sunday's game with an 11-3 overall record and following two consecutive losses. Pitt opened Big East play with a 72-59 loss at Notre Dame on Tuesday, Dec. 27. Pitt shot just 40 percent (24-60) from the floor and a season-low 7.1 percent (1-14) from 3-point range in dropping its fourth straight game to Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish shot 72 percent (18-25) from the floor in the second half. The four consecutive losses to Notre Dame are the most consecutive losses to an opponent since Jamie Dixon became head coach in 2003-04. Talib Zanna led Pitt with his third double-double of the year (13 points/12 rebounds) while Ashton Gibbs and Nasir Robinson both contributed 12 points. For the first time in four years, Pitt dropped its Big East opener.
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 concluded non-conference play with 10 or more wins for the 11th straight year. In the previous 12 seasons from 1988-2001, Pitt failed to win 10 non-conference games at least one time.
SUNDAY'S TOP STORYLINES
Pitt is in its 10th season in the Petersen Events Center and carries a 156-14 record (.918) in the arena. Pitt also owns a 65-11 record vs. Big East opponents in the Petersen Events Center. The Panthers have won 62 of their last 66 home games.
Pitt has won 27 of its last 29 Big East Conference home games.
Following a loss, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 41-12 record. Dixon has lost back-to-back games only seven times in his nine-year head coaching career.
Over the last 10 seasons, Pitt has proved to be the Big East's leader in overall winning percentage (284-74, .793), 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).