Preview: Pittsburgh at Syracuse
While No. 2 Syracuse is undefeated and garnering considerable national attention, No. 21 Pittsburgh is one point away from being in a similar position. The Panthers visit the Orange on Saturday in a matchup of former Big East rivals with a combined record of 33-1. The one loss by Pittsburgh was a 44-43 defeat to Cincinnati - another former Big East program - back on Dec. 17. "The teams the ACC picked, the ones they went after, I think their mission was to get the best basketball teams they could," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said, via Syracuse.com. "And Syracuse and us, I think we were one (in the Big East) in the last 10 years by a pretty good margin and they were two, so I think there was a plan that they would try to get some teams that had won before." Of course, both teams are winning now as well, and doing so in impressive fashion. The Orange have given up more than 67 points just twice this season while all 16 of Pitt's wins have come by at least seven points.TV: 4 p.m. ET, ESPNABOUT PITTSBURGH (16-1, 4-0 ACC): The Panthers have won six in a row, including an 81-74 victory at Georgia Tech on Tuesday in which Talib Zanna posted 22 points and nine rebounds. Playing without sixth man Durand Johnson (ACL tear), Pittsburgh received 70 of its 81 points from the starters and absolutely dominated the glass. "The rebounding was something we came in and had to do, and had to win that on the road," said Dixon, whose team outrebounded the Yellow Jackets, 38-18.ABOUT SYRACUSE (17-0, 4-0): "We played as bad offensively as we have all year," coach Jim Boeheim said after Monday's 69-59 win at Boston College, even though his team put up respectable numbers from the field (45.3 percent), the 3-point line (4-of-10) and foul line (17-of-21). Sophomore guard Trevor Cooney bailed out the team with 21 points while freshman backcourt mate Tyler Ennis had 12 points, six steals and five assists. Ennis has 13 games with at least five assists and only one game in which he committed more than two turnovers.TIP-INS1. Syracuse is one of three undefeated teams in the country, along with No. 1 Arizona and No. 5 Wichita State.2. The Orange and Panthers split two games last season, with Syracuse getting the win when the teams met in the Big East tournament.3. Pittsburgh averages only three blocks, with Zanna posting a team-high 0.9 blocks per game.PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 73, Syracuse 70
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