No. 1 Matchups: A Look Back

Pitt is 2-14 all-time against No. 1 teams, with both wins coming against UConn in 2009. They are, however, 9-0 against Top-5 teams in the Petersen Events Center.

January 16, 2012
No. 1 Syracuse 71 Pitt 63

Pitt got 10 points each from Cameron Wright, Lamar Patterson and Ashton Gibbs, and even outscored the Orange 37-36 in the second half, but it wasn't enough to overcome the nation's top-ranked team, in a 71-63 loss.

At the time, the Orange hadn't beaten Pitt at the Carrier Dome in nine years. Pitt won the previous five meetings in the series, 13 of its previous 16 against Syracuse. Since then, Syracuse has won two of the last three meetings.

January 23, 1996
No. 1 Massachusetts 79 Pitt 71 (OT)

Pitt had the top-ranked Minutemen on the ropes, who were coached by John Calipari, and led by Marcus Camby at the time.

Pitt led the top-ranked Minutemen 35-30 at halftime, and led for much of the game. UMass led by as many as nine up until six minutes left in the game. Pitt went on a 10-2 run to send the game to overtime, before UMass pulled away in the extra frame.

Jamie Dixon preaches long rebounds--specifically for his guards. He would have loved Jerry McCullough's 20 points and 11 rebounds in this game.

December 12, 1998
No. 1 Connecticut 70 Pitt 69

It's a toss-up when it comes to most heartbreaking loss of all-time when it comes to the '96 UMass loss and this '98 game with UConn, a rare conference game in the middle of December.

Pitt led UMass for the first 29 minutes of the contest. This time against UConn, the Panthers led all the way for the first 39:06 of the contest. That was when Khalid El-Amin hit a three-pointer with 54 seconds left, putting UConn ahead for the first time in the game, and stealing what could have been a monumental upset for Pitt.

Pitt started off 6-0 that year, including a win over defending national champion Kentucky in the Puerto Rico shootout. After that 6-0 start, Pitt lost four of its next five, including the UConn loss. After that loss to UConn, Pitt never recovered, losing 12 of its final 19 games.

February 16, 2009
Pitt 76 No. 1 Connecticut 68

Another great matchup with high stakes, which was a recurring storyline between the two teams in this decade.

The game will best be remembered for DeJuan Blair overpowering UConn's Hasheem Thabeet, tossing him to the floor for one of his 23 rebounds. Blair's performance that night was one of the best in school history, 22 points and 23 rebounds.

As a result of the win, Pitt would earn its second No. 1 ranking in program history--just a few weeks after claiming the honor for the first time.

March 7, 2009
No. 3 Pitt 70 No. 1 Connecticut 60

Barely three weeks from the previous meeting, yet just enough time for UConn to regain the No. 1 spot in the rankings, after Pitt suffered a road loss at Providence. On February 24.

This time around, it was Thabeet getting the best of Blair--14 points and 13 rebounds for Thabeet to Blair's eight points, eight rebounds. It was Sam Young's 31 points on Senior Day that proved to be too much for the Huskies.

Though Pitt was knocked out of the Big East Tournament in its first game, the Panthers did earn a No. 1 seed. This win over UConn clinched it.

Pitt jumped out to a 10 point lead at halftime, and never looked back. Pitt got that early lead thanks to an early 9-0 run. UConn battled back in the second half thanks to a 12-0 run, cutting the deficit to just two points (52-50). They were never able to gain the lead, thanks to a three-point play from Young. The 12,908 in attendance marked the largest on-campus crowd for a game at the time.

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