All you need to know as first-place Pitt visits Purcell Pavilion

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune
Feb 25, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Panthers forward Blake Hinson (2) reacts after making a three point basket against the Syracuse Orange during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. Pittsburgh won 99-82. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


WHO: Notre Dame (10-19 overall; 2-16 ACC) vs. No. 25 Pittsburgh (21-8; 14-4) 

WHERE: Purcell Pavilion (9,149) 

WHEN: Wednesday at 7 p.m. 



TICKETS: Available. 

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ONLINE: Follow every Notre Dame game with live updates from Tribune beat writer Tom Noie at 

NOTING: Small forward Blake Hinson scored 22 points with six rebounds, guard Jamarius Burton added 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and guard Nelly Cummings had 14 points and 13 assists in Pittsburgh’s 99-82 home victory Saturday over Syracuse. Six players scored double figures for the Panthers, who scored a season-high 62 points in the second half. They shot .471 percent from the field, .390 percent from 3 and .864 percent from the foul line in a game they led for 34:06. Pittsburgh made 16 3-pointers and had a season-high 27 assists, including 19 on 21 baskets in the second half. … The Panthers are ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 this week for the first time since 2016. ... Pittsburgh has won two straight, eight of nine and 10 of 12 as it enters the final week of the regular season in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. … The Panthers were picked in preseason 14th in the 15-team league. … Pittsburgh is 6-2 on the road in league play, 7-3 overall away from home. It has league road wins over Florida State, North Carolina, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and North Carolina State. Its non-conference road win was at Northwestern. … The Panthers are headed back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015-16. … Prior to this season, the Panthers hadn’t won more than six ACC games in any of the previous six seasons. … This will be Pittsburgh’s first winning season in the ACC since its first year in the league – 2013-14 – when it went 11-7. It hadn’t won more than 16 games any of the previous five seasons. … The Panthers returned three starters off last year’s team that finished 11-21 overall, 6-14 and tied for 12th place. … This year’s roster features six transfers after the Panthers lost seven players to transfer the previous two seasons. … Pittsburgh has been without arguably its best player this season, power forward John Hugley, who earned honorable mention all-league honors last season. Hugley is sitting out this season to focus on his mental and physical health. … Cummings is fourth in the league in assist/turnover ratio (2.34). Burton is sixth for free throw percentage (.848) and ninth in field goal percentage (.495) and assists (4.44). … Notre Dame leads the all-time series 37-31, 19-11 at home and 6-4 as ACC colleagues. The Irish have won four straight and seven of the last eight meetings. … This is the second straight season that Pittsburgh is the opponent for Notre Dame’s Senior Night.  … The Irish have lost seven straight games, 11 of 12 and 14 of 16. They are 2-7 at home in league play after going 9-1 last season. … Notre Dame is 1-2 against ranked teams this season with a win over Michigan State and losses to Miami (Fla.) and Virginia. 

QUOTING: “I am so proud of Jeff Capel. He had to have a big year and he has. He is the ACC Coach of the Year. Jeff is like a son to me.” — Irish coach Mike Brey 

  Tom Noie