No. 22 Pitt Opens Big East Play Against ND

PITTSBURGH--Undefeated Pitt (11-0) begins its 24th season of Big East Conference competition and 16-game Big East schedule Wednesday, Jan. 4 when it hosts Notre Dame (9-2). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at the Petersen Events Center.

The contest will be televised by ESPN Regional and broadcast locally on FSN-Pittsburgh. John Sanders and Bob Wenzel will handle play-by-play and color analyst duties respectively.

Pitt enters the contest ranked No. 22 in the Associated Press poll and No. 20 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. Pitt enters the Associated Press poll for the first time this season. Notre Dame begins conference play unranked.

Undefeated at 11-0, Pitt is one of only eight current undefeated teams in NCAA Division I college basketball (see chart page 4).

With Saturday's 73-64 victory over No. 24 Wisconsin, Pitt completed its non-conference schedule undefeated for just the second time in school history. Pitt went 14-0 in 2003-04. Pitt has now won 10-plus non-conference games in each of the last five seasons (11-0 in 2005-06, 10-1 in 2004-05, 14-0 in 2003-04, 10-1 in 2002-03 and 11-1 in 2001-02). It has compiled a 56-3 non-conference record over the last five years. Additionally, the Panthers are 37-1 overall (.974) against non-conference foes in the Petersen Events Center and have won 58 of their last 59 home games against non-conference opponents.

The 11-0 start ranks as the fifth best start in school history. Last year, Pitt began its season with a 10-0 record. It went 18-0 to start the 2003-04 season and 9-0 in 2002-03. The school record is 21 straight wins by the 1927-28 which finished 21-0 and was crowned national champions. Pitt's 11 game win streak ranks tied for seventh among the school's all-time longest win streaks.

The Panthers enter the contest on a 11-game winning streak after holding nine of 11 opponents to 60 points or less.

Pitt is 9-0 at home this season. Its current nine-game home win streak ranks eighth among the school's all-time longest home win streaks. Pitt owns a 57-5 record and .919 winning percentage in the four-year-old Petersen Events Center.

Notre Dame opens Big East regular season play with a 9-2 record. The Fighting Irish have won seven consecutive games. Pitt has defeated Notre Dame in each of the last four meetings and in five of the series' last six games.

TODAY'S TOP STORYLINES

•At 11-0, Pitt is one of eight undefeated teams nationally. The 11-0 start ranks as the fifth best start in school history. Pitt has now won 10-plus non-conference games in each of the last five years and is 56-3 during that span.

•Pitt enters Big East play after concluding its non-conference slate undefeated (11-0) for just the second time in school history. Pitt also went 14-0 in 2003-04.

•Pitt enters Big East play with a 20-4 regular season record vs. Big East opponents in the Petersen Events Center.

•Pitt has won each of its last four meetings against Notre Dame and five of the last six. The all-time series is tied at 25-25.

•Head Coach Jamie Dixon concluded his third non-conference season with an undefeated 27-0 record in December games.

•Pitt will honor each of its three retired jersey recipients at halftime of today's contest: Don Hennon (10), Billy Knight (34) and Charles Smith (32).


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