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Pittsburgh Preview - Five Things To Know

Dec. 29, 2016

ND Game Notes vs Pittsburgh Get Acrobat Reader

WHO: Notre Dame (11-2) at Pittsburgh (11-2)

WHAT: ACC Conference Opener for both teams

WHERE: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

WHEN: 2:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, January 31st, 2016

TV BROADCAST: ACC Network with Tom Werme (play-by-play) and Jason Capel (analyst)

RADIO BROADCAST: Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network with Jack Nolan (play-by-play).

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (11-2) begins the 2016-17 ACC season at Pittsburgh (11-2) on New Year’s Eve at 2:00 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast via the ACC Network and ACC Network Extra (subject to Blackout). The Irish are taking on the Panthers for the fifth time as a conference schedule opener, but the first as members of the ACC.

Here are Five Things To Know about the Notre Dame – Pittsburgh matchup –


The ACC Network is available across the country through several local television network affiliates. In the South Bend, Indiana, area the game will be on WMYS – MyTV which is broadcast over-the-air on channel 69, AT&T U-Verse channel 69, Xfinity channel 15 and Dish Network channel 69.

For more over-the-air network affiliates, visit

For live on-line viewing options, visit

The contest will also be available via ACC Network Extra, but is subject to Blackout in some areas –


Notre Dame and Pittsburgh will be meeting for the 62nd time on Saturday afternoon (see page eight of this notes package for a complete listing of the ND-Pitt series). The Irish lead the all-time series 31-30. The ND – Pitt series is one of the most prolific in Notre Dame basketball history, with mutliple games taking place in the 1920s, 1930s, 1950s, 1970s and 1980s before both teams were members of the Big East Conference together from 1996 through 2013.

Notre Dame ended up with a 14-10 record against Pittsburgh as Big East foes, but the Panthers have the advantage as ACC opponents, winning all three meetings against the Irish.

Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh when…

… Notre Dame is ranked, Pittsburgh is unranked – 4-2

… Mike Brey is the head coach at Notre Dame – 11-11

… in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 12-18

… at Petersen Events Center – 3-6

… in December – 2-0 (Dec. 6, 1997, 73-69; Dec. 26, 2011, 72-59)

… in conference openers – 2-2


Rex Pflueger began the season competing in 11 games without a turnover. In that same time frame, he posted 21 assists, 11 steals, seven blocks and has already connected on more three-point field goals (nine) than his entire freshman season (eight) at a much higher percentage rate (.320 last season, .429 in 2016-17).

The streak came to an end in the first half against Saint Peter’s on an errant fast break pass. For the season, Pflueger played 218 minutes of turnover free basketball.


Notre Dame leads the ACC in five statistical categories (as of Dec. 29) – assists (18.69 pg), assist/turnover ratio (2.03), free throw percentage (.847), three-point FG percentage (.401) and three-point FGs made (10.23 pg).


2.03 –

Assist-to-turnover ratio for Notre Dame this sesason, the best in the nation.

3.1 –

Team grade-point-average for the Irish in the fall semester of 2016, the best group average posted by a Notre Dame men’s basketball team since the spring of 2009.

5 –

Notre Dame is facing Pitt in a conference opener for the fifth time on Saturday and the teams are tied 2-2 in those matchups, all of which occurred when both the Irish and Panthers were members of the Big East Conference.

7 –

Double-doubles this season (points and rebounds) for junior Bonzie Colson, which leads the ACC and is 11th in the nation.

9.2 –

Turnovers-per-game average for the Irish, the best in the nation.

12 –

The Irish are looking for their 12th conference-opening win under Mike Brey. Since 2000-01, Notre Dame is 11-5 in its first conference game of the season – including wins in 11 of the last 13.

18.8 –

Points-per-game average for Matt Farrell against power conference opponents this season (five games vs. Big Ten, Pac-12 or Big East). The junior point guard also is averaging 7.0 apg in those five contests.

62 –

Notre Dame and Pittsburgh will be meeting for the 62nd time on Saturday afternoon. Pitt will match Kentucky as the sixth-most frequent opponent of the Irish.

84.7 –

Free-throw percentage for Notre Dame this season, the best in the nation.

94 –

Consecutive games started by senior captain Steve Vasturia, dating back to the final seven games of the 2013-14 season. Vasturia is on pace to become just the fourth Notre Dame player to start 100 consecutive games in a career this season.

367 –

Victories at Notre Dame for head coach Mike Brey, the second-most in Notre Dame history and 26 away from the all-time record (393).

466 –

Career coaching victories by both Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey and Pittsburgh head coach Kevin Stallings entering the contest on Saturday afternoon.

697 –

Career Divison I games coached by Mike Brey, closing in on the 700-game milestone. Brey will become the 35th active Division I coach to reach the 700-win milestone against Clemson on Jan. 7.

1,830 –

Wins in Notre Dame basketball history, ranked seventh all-time entering the 2016-17 season. Since Mike Brey took over the Irish program in 2000-01, the Irish have moved from 12th to seventh on the all-time wins list.