MARYLAND (10-5, 2-0 ACC) at PITT (13-1, 1-0 ACC)
Monday, January 6, 2014 • 7 p.m. ET
Petersen Events Center (12,508) • Pittsburgh, Pa.
Television: ESPNU (Bob Picozzi and Kara Lawson)
Coaches: Pitt: Jamie Dixon, 15th year at Pitt, 11th year as head coach (275-87); Maryland: Mark Turgeon, 3rd year at UM (52-33), 16th year overall (302-192).
Rankings: Pitt: AP-ARV; USA Today-ARV; Maryland: AP-NR; USA Today-NR.
Series: Pitt and Maryland meet for the eighth time in school history. Maryland holds a 5-2 advantage in the series which began on Feb. 15, 1977. The last time the two teams met was on Nov. 18, 2010 in the 2K Sports/Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Madison Square Garden, a 79-70 Pitt win. Pitt has hosted Maryland on two different occasions: Feb. 11, 1978 (89-86 Pitt win in OT) and on Jan. 27, 1981 (69-66 UM win in OT). Both were played at Civic Arena.
PITTSBURGH–Pitt (13-1, 1-0 ACC) plays its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball game at home when it hosts Maryland (10-5, 2-0 ACC) for a Monday, January 6 contest at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU with Bob Picozzi (play-by-play) and Kara Lawson (color analysis) making the call. Matthew Bartley will handle production. The broadcast was moved to ESPNU to accommodate coverage of the FBS national championship game on ESPN2.
Pitt has won its 13 games by an average of 17.9 points per game margin, all 13 wins have come by nine or more points and 10 of its 13 by 17 points or more. Offensively, the Panthers are averaging 76.7 points per game, converting 48.0 percent (379-789) of field goals, 33.0 percent (69-209) of 3-point field goals and an amazing school-record pace of 74.6 percent (247-331) of free throw attempts. Pitt is also outrebounding its opponents by a sizable plus-9.2 margin. Defensively, Pitt is holding its opponents to 58.9 points per game and yielding a 39.5 percent (295-747) field goal percentage. Thirteen of Pitt’s 14 opponents have been held to 70 points or less and eight have scored 60 points or less.
Pitt is 9-0 at home this year, on an 11-game home win streak and 19-game consecutive win streak against non-conference opponents at home. Pitt also owns a 110-3 record vs. non-conference opponents at the Petersen Events Center and has won 131 of its last 135 home games against regular season non-conference opponents.
Pitt hosts Maryland, its second ACC opponent, after registering a 74-62 victory at North Carolina State on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C. The Panthers battled all the way back from an early 17-2 first half deficit to win by 12 points. In the second half, Pitt used 63 percent shooting (17-27) and hit 11-13 free throws in taking control. During a decisive seven-minute stretch after halftime, Pitt converted on 12 of its 13 possessions and outscored NC State 24-6. Lamar Patterson led Pitt with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Talib Zanna added 15 points and nine rebounds and freshman Michael Young contributed a career-high 13 points. Patterson (17) and Zanna (nine) combined to score 26 of their 37 points in the second half.
Maryland (10-5, 2-0 ACC) is on a three-game win streak after consecutive wins over Tulsa, North Carolina Central and Georgia Tech. Head coach Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins are led by four players in double figure scoring including Dez Wells (15.0 ppg./5.3 rpg.), Jake Layman (13.7 ppg./5.1 rpg.), Evan Smotrycz (12.3 ppg./6.9 rpg.) and Nick Faust (10.4 ppg.). This marks Maryland’s third ACC game as it has defeated both Boston College (88-80 on Dec. 12) and Georgia Tech (77-61 on Jan. 4).
MONDAY’S TOP STORYLINES
•Pitt plays its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference home game when it hosts Maryland on Monday, Jan. 6 at the Petersen Events Center.
•Pitt coach Jamie Dixon owns a 12-0 record vs. previous ACC teams and a 28-10 overall record vs. current ACC teams (including Syracuse, Notre Dame).
•With its 13-1 record, Pitt has currently amassed the second most wins in the ACC.
•With a 9-0 home record and currently on an 11-game home win streak, Pitt is in its 12th season at the Petersen Events Center and carries a 189-22 record (.896) in the arena. The Panthers have won 95 of their last 107 home games and 38 of their last 48 conference home games.
•When comparing ACC basketball programs over the last 13 years, Pitt ranks second among league programs in overall winning percentage (332-97, .774), league winning percentage (142-63, .693), homecourt winning percentage (.896) and NCAA Tournament appearances (11).