It was roughly around this time last season when Fab Melo was suspended (for the first time) and the Syracuse Orange got their first taste of defeat. This year, as James Southerland remains on the bench, the Orange are coming off their first Big East loss of the season and hoping to rebound much the same way last year's team did as they invade the Oakland Zoo to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers. Let's check out the particulars...
Date: Saturday, February 2nd
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST
Location: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, PA
TV: ESPN/ESPN3 (subject to ESPN3 blackout in Eastern third of USA)
Panthers' Last Game: Pitt had a chance to be the latest team to knock off Louisville but the Cardinals got their act together enough to beat the Panthers 64-61.
Series: 100 games. Syracuse leads 62-38.
Current Streak: 1, Syracuse
Boeheim's Record Vs: 38-23
Last Game: Syracuse's 71-63 win over Pitt last year was their first since 2006 and capped a 20-0 start, the best in school history. And C.J. Fair did this...
Pitt Last Year: Ranked No. 13 in preseason polls, Pitt's season was a disappointment as they ended up 22-17 (5-13) overall. They did, however, end the season as champions. CBI Champions.
Pitt Coach: Jamie Dixon (10th) - Last season aside, Dixon took Pitt to another level in the last decade. They've gone to the Sweet 16 three times and qualified for the NCAAs in 8 of his 9 previous seasons. He's also 9-3 vs. Cuse so he must be doing something well.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds Of Timelords": Forward Talib Zanna leads the Panthers in scoring (11.2) and is 2nd in rebounding (5.6). F Lamar Patterson and G Tray Woodall are also scoring over 10 PPG.
Fun Fact: Pitt is 12-1 all-time against top ten teams in the PEC, which, isn't actually a FUN fact for us.
Unexciting Reason To Watch: Rough environment that we haven't won at since 2004 + James Southerland out + DaJuan Coleman out = scary situation.
Exciting Reason To Watch: There's something about Pitt basketball that somehow makes Pitt more detestable than football. Only here do they feel like a true rival. Let's give'm hell.