Rankings: Syracuse (1/1), Pitt (25/23)
Day & Time: Wednesday, February 12, 7:00 p.m. EST
Arena: Peterson Events Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Line: -2, Pittsburgh
Announcers: Dave O'Brien, Doris Burke
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network
Pitt News: Cardiac Hill
Rivalry: 64-39, Syracuse
Streak: 2, Syracuse
First Meeting: Pittsburgh pulled a Chris Webber and called timeout late when they didn't have any, allowed the Orangemen to pull even, take it to overtime and eventually win 36-29 in a 1914 match-up.
Last Meeting: In what could generously be termed a ‘defensive struggle’, the Orange were able to overcome a double-digit rebounding deficit and tough out a 59-54 home victory over the 22nd-ranked Panthers on January 14.
School Connections: The two teams have played 104 times. That's a lot.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (38th Year, 943-314); Pitt: Jamie Dixon (11th Year, 282-90)
Last Year: Pitt finished the regular season with a 12-6 record in the Big East, good enough for 4th. They lost to Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament and lost in the second round of 2013 NCAA Tournament to eventual Final Four squad Wichita State, ending the year with a record of 24-9.
Head Coach Bio: A long-time coach, the former TCU player landed at Pitt where he spent four years as Ben Howland's assistant before taking over the program when he left for UCLA. Since then Dixon has maintained Pitt's status, taking them to the NCAA Tournament in nine of his ten seasons there. The only thing he can't seem to do is get them to the promised land. Since Jamie Dixon became head coach, Pitt is 10-5 vs. Syracuse and 6-1 vs. Syracuse at home.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds Of Timelords": Other than Dixon, who seems to know how to beat the Orange better than anyone, how about Talib Zanna, who is Pitt's Mr. Double-Doubles, averaging 12.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG. Of course there's also Lamar Patterson, who leads the Panthers with 17.2 PPG.
If Syracuse Wins…: They'll have their best true road win of the season, will secure their spot atop the ACC and move one step further to locking up the top seed in the ACC Tournament.
If Syracuse Loses…: Dixon will add another notch in his belt against Boeheim, the Orange will drop from the No. 1 ranking and Syracuse will be the subject of a bunch of editorial pieces about how the program isn't nearly as good as everyone thought they were.
Fun Fact: The last time Pitt hosted a No. 1 ranked team was on March 7, 2009, a 70-60 win over No. 1 ranked Connecticut. Pitt enters the game with a 9-0 all- time record vs. top-5 ranked teams at the Petersen Events Center. It is also 13-1 vs. top-10 ranked teams in the arena.
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