Day & Time: Saturday, January 16, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Line: N/A just yet.
Pittsburgh Blog: Cardiac Hill
Rivalry: 73-46, Syracuse
Current Streak: 1, Pittsburgh
First Meeting: The two teams met for the first time on January 29, 1914. Syracuse won 36-29, with Lew Castle leading all scorers with 20 points.
Last Meeting: An 18-point lead disappeared for the Orange back on January 6 as poor shot selection prevented Syracuse from growing its lead. An Au’Diese Toney tip-in with eight seconds left gave Pitt its only lead of the game as the Panthers eventually won 63-60. Pitt out-rebounded Syracuse 49-33 with the Panthers getting 20 offensive rebounds to the Orange’s 24 defensive rebounds.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (45th year, 1,072-402) | Pittsburgh - Jeff Capel (third year, 36-38)
Coach Bio: Capel was a prolific starting guard for four seasons at Duke during his collegiate playing career. He finished with 1,601 points in his Blue Devils career. Capel started his coaching career as an assistant for his dad, Jeff Capel II, at Old Dominion for one year before moving to an assistant role with VCU the following season. After one year with the Rams, he was promoted to the program’s head coaching role. Capel led VCU to the NCAA tournament during his second season in 2004 and the Rams won 18 or more games in his four-year tenure. Capel then took the Oklahoma head coaching role and led the Sooners to two NCAA tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight run in 2009 with Blake Griffin. Capel left Oklahoma in 2011 and rejoined with Mike Krzyzewski at his alma mater in Duke, where he served as assistant on his staff until 2018. During his time at Duke, Capel stepped in for two games while Krzyzewski was unable to coach.
Capel was named Pittsburgh’s head coach in 2018 after the Panthers went winless in conference plays. Although the Panthers haven’t achieved an over-.500 season under Capel, he has increased Pitt’s win total each year.
Last Year: Pitt barely missed out on an above-.500 record by going 16-17 in its second season under Capel. It all fell apart for the Panthers during the second half of ACC play as Pittsburgh dropped its last seven regular season conference games of the 2019-20 campaign. The Panthers did pick up a win in the ACC tournament against Wake Forest but lost in the next round to NC State.
Last Game: Pittsburgh’s last game was the aforementioned game against Syracuse on January 6. The Panthers were scheduled to play Florida State and Georgia Tech this past week, but both opponents shut down their programs due to COVID-19.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: With Justin Champagnie still out due to injury, the focus returns to Toney, who had a double-double during the January 6 game with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Toney is Pitt’s leading point scorer and rebounder without Champagnie in the lineup.
If Syracuse Wins: Revenge is a dish best served with salt potatoes.
If Syracuse Loses: We all donate our knees to Bourama Sidibe.
Fun Fact: The last time Syracuse lost in the Petersen Events was on February 11, 2017, when the Panthers won 80-75. Andrew White and John Gillon had 20 points in the loss, while Cameron Johnson led all scorers with 22 points for Pitt.