Vote for Pitt basketball's top moments in the Big East
Pitt's DeJuan Blair, Tyrell Biggs and Sam Young celebrate after defeating Georgetown in the Big East Championship at Madison Square Garden in 2008.
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With Pitt headed to the ACC next season, the Post-Gazette is publishing the Panthers' top 10 Big East men's basketball moments in our college basketball preview.
The PG sports staff is choosing its own top 10, but Pitt fans can voice their opinions in our two polls on which moments they liked the best. We've split the moments into two eras: 1983-2003 and 2004-present. Fan voting will take place from now until until Nov. 1.
Results will be published on Nov. 4.
Here are the nominees:
• Pitt beats St. John's, 72- 71 on Feb. 1, 1983. This was Pitt's first year in the Big East ... the Panthers hit 12 of 14 shots in the second half to beat No. 4 SJU ... it was Pitt's first signature Big East win.
• Pitt upsets Patrick Ewing and Georgetown at Fitzgerald Field House, 65-63, Feb. 19, 1983. With four minutes to play, Pitt rallied from seven points down to beat the No. 14 Hoyas.
• Guard Jason Maile scores 40 points in a victory against Villanova in February of 1997. It remains the most points scored in a Big East game is the fifth-highest total in school history.
• Send it in Jerome. Lane shatters the backboard at Fitzgerald Field House with a thunderous dunk in a win over Providence in January 1988.
• On March 6, 1988, Pitt beats Syracuse, 85-84, at Carrier Dome to clinch first outright Big East regular-season championship behind Jerome Lane's 29 points and 15 boards.
• It was Inauguration Day for George W. Bush in Washington D.C. on Jan. 20, 2001. That night Pitt gave Ben Howland his first signature victory by knocking off previously unbeaten Georgetown, 70-66. The play of the night was Julius Page's dunk over 7-footer Ruben Boumjte-Boumjte.
• Pitt wins three games in three days to advance to its first-ever Big East tournament championship game in March 2001. The Panthers lost to Boston College in the title game, but many believe that run at Madison Square Garden was the impetus for the program's decade of dominance in the conference.
• Pitt's first Big East tournament championship in 2003 came via a 74-56 victory over Connecticut at MSG. Julius Page is named tournament MVP.
• Pitt beats Duke, 65-64, on buzzer beater by Levance Fields at Madison Square Garden in 2007.
• Pitt's buzzer-beater win over WVU in 2008, a 55-54 win secured by Ronald Ramon's 3-point buzzer beater from the corner.
• Pitt's second Big East tournament championship in 2008. Panthers capture title improbably coming from the No. 7 seed to win four games and four days, beating Georgetown, 74-65, in title game at MSG.
• The Thabeet Throwdown -- DeJuan Blair throws Hasheem Thabeet to the floor and then dominates the No. 1 Huskies in a victory at the XL Center in Hartford in 2009.
• Pitt became the ninth team in the history of college basketball to beat the No. 1 team twice in the same season when the Panthers beat Connecticut, 70-60, at the Petersen Events Center in the 2009 regular-season finale. Sam Young scored 31 points in the rematch 19 days after the Panthers beat the Huskies in Hartford. The win also secured a 19-0 home record and it was done before 12,908, the largest crowd to ever witness an on-campus basketball game at Pitt.
• 2009 Selection Sunday. Pitt earns No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament for first time in school history after finishing with a 15-3 Big East record and second-place finish.
• Pitt beats Xavier in 2009 NCAA tournament to finally get over Sweet 16 hump to Elite Eight for first time since 1974. Levance Fields hits step-back 3-pointer to secure the win in final minute.
• Pitt's 82-77 overtime win over Louisville at the Petersen Events Center in 2010. Panthers trailed by five with less than a minute remaining. Rick Pitino called it the second-most difficult loss of his career behind the Kentucky loss to Duke in 1992 NCAA tournament.
• Pitt's triple overtime win over West Virginia in 2010, an improbable 98-95 win after trailing by seven with less than a minute remaining.
• Pitt secured its sixth regular-season championship with a 60-50 victory over Villanova in the regular-season finale at the Petersen Events Center in 2012. It was Pitt's first Big East regular-season title since 2004, tied for the most wins in a regular season and helped secure a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
First Published October 25, 2012 12:00 am