Ah yes, nothing like a battle between sub-.500 teams
Day & Time: Tuesday, January 11, 7 pm ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
TV/Streaming: ESPNU, WatchESPN
Pittsburgh Blog: Cardiac Hill
Rivalry: 73-46, Syracuse
Current Streak: 2, 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: Pitt got a boost before the game with its star player Justin Champagnie returning from injury before the game. He got going in the second half while the Orange collapsed as the Panthers won 96-76.
Head Coaches: Syracuse – Jim Boeheim (46th year, 1,090-417) | Pittsburgh – Jeff Capel (fourth year – 46–57)
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 play. Although the Panthers haven’t achieved an over-.500 season under Capel, he has increased Pitt’s win total each year except last season.
Last Year: Despite a good start to the season, Pitt struggled down the stretch, losing its last nine of 11 regular season games. The Panthers limped to the third-worst conference record in the ACC and lost to Miami in the first round of the ACC tournament.
Last Game: Pitt found its first win in ACC play with a 69-67 victory over Boston College. The low-scoring affair saw the Panthers shooting 44.4% and the Eagles shooting 38.6%
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: After a slew of transfers, John Hugley has emerged as Pitt’s primary scorer. He leads the team with 15.7 points per game, shooting 46.3% from the floor, best among starters.
If Syracuse Wins: There’s no place like home.
If Syracuse Loses: I reject your reality and substitute my own.
Fun Fact: Buddy Boeheim passed 1,000 career points during Syracuse’s last game on Saturday against Wake Forest.