This is the last time you can watch Irish men at home this season
►WHO: Pittsburgh (11-19 overall; 6-13 ACC) vs. Notre Dame (21-9; 14-5)
►WHERE: Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
►WHEN: Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
►RADIO: WSBT (960 AM).
►TICKETS: Available. All spectators must wear masks regardless of vaccination status. Concession stands have reopened.
►ONLINE: Follow every Notre Dame game with live updates from Tribune beat writer Tom Noie at twitter.com/tnoieNDI.
►NOTING: Power forward John Hugley scored 19 points with six rebounds and guard Jamarius Burton added 13 points and two rebounds in Tuesday’s home loss to No. 4 Duke, 86-56. The Panthers trailed for 39:40 and by as many as 33. They allowed a season high 50 points in the second half. … Pittsburgh has lost three straight, all at home, and seven of 10. … The Panthers have trailed 14-2 and 16-3 early in the first half of their last two games – against Miami (Fla.) and Duke. … Pittsburgh is 3-8 overall on the road, 2-7 in league play with the conference wins at Florida State and North Carolina. … Picked in preseason to finish 14th, Pittsburgh enters the final weekend of the regular season in a three-way tie (with Boston College and Louisville) for 11th. … Pittsburgh is one of six repeat opponents for Notre Dame. The teams met Dec. 28 at Petersen Events Center, a 68-67 Irish win in a game that featured seven ties and six lead changes before a Prentiss Hubb baseline jumper with five seconds remaining gave the Irish their final lead. Four Irish scored double figures led by power forward Paul Atkinson (16 points, six rebounds). … Notre Dame is 10-1 against repeat opponents this year and looks to sweep a fifth repeat opponent. The loss is to Boston College. … Notre Dame leads the all-time series 36-31, 18-11 at home, 5-4 as ACC colleagues. The Irish have won three straight and six of seven in the series. The Panthers haven’t won at Purcell Pavilion since Jan. 9, 2016 (86-82). … Notre Dame looks to avoid dropping consecutive games for the first time since late-November/early-December when it lost three straight (Texas A&M, Illinois, Boston College). … Pittsburgh ranks fifth in the league in scoring defense (67.8 ppg.) It ranks 14th – second to last – in free throw percentage (.698), field goal percentage (.417) and steals (5.3). The Panthers are last in the league in scoring offense (62.3 ppg.), scoring margin (-5.50), assists (11.0), turnover margin (-3.37) and assist/turnover ratio (0.80). … Hugley is third in the league in rebounding (8.07). … Notre Dame owns the best home record in the league for conference games (8-1) and overall (13-1). The loss was to Duke. … Next up for Dame is the ACC Tournament next week in New York. The Irish open play Thursday as either the No. 2 (7 p.m.) or No. 3 (9:30 p.m.) seed against an opponent to be determined.
►QUOTING: “Starting matters. There’s nothing like it. You get introduced, man. Saturday, who knows?”
— Irish coach Mike Brey on starting and what that five might look like Saturday when the Irish honor six seniors and a graduate student.
Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI