Going to settle in for tonight's Coaches vs. Cancer doubleheader of Pitt-Maryland and Illinois-Texas? Let the ESPN Stats & Info department fill you in with some pregame factoids:
No. 4 Pittsburgh vs. Maryland, 7 ET, ESPN2
-- This will be the seventh all-time meeting between these schools, with Maryland leading the all-time series 5-1 (four straight wins). Pitt fans would rather forget the last meeting, a 87-52 Maryland beatdown in the 1998 Puerto Rico Shootout. The Terps led 46-17 at halftime, and at one point led by 46 points. The Panthers have not lost a game by 35 or more points since. In the Jamie Dixon era, Pitt’s worst loss is by 25 points against Dayton in 2007.
-- This is a meeting of the fifth-winningest active coach by total wins and the third-winningest active coach by winning percentage. Gary Williams (652 wins) trails only Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Calhoun, Jim Boeheim and Bob Huggins. Jamie Dixon (.780 win pct) trails only Mark Few and Roy Williams.
-- Madison Square Garden is Pitt’s home away from home. The Panthers have won two Big East titles there (2003 and 2008), advanced to the Big East title game in seven of the last 10 years and amassed a 24-11 record in the arena since the 2000-01 season.
-- Since a stunning January 2005 loss to Bucknell, Pittsburgh has won 63 of its last 68 games against nonconference opponents. The five losses were to Indiana in the 2009 Jimmy V Classic in New York, to Texas in Kansas City, Mo. in 2009, at Wisconsin (2006), vs. Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City (2006) and at Dayton (2008).
-- The last time Maryland played in the Coaches vs. Cancer event, the Terrapins won the championship in 2006. The Terrapins beat Michigan State 62-60 in the title game and are 7-1 all-time in two appearances in this tournament.
-- Since committing 29 turnovers in the season-opening win over Seattle, Maryland has cut down a bit on its miscues in the past two games. The Terps committed 18 against College of Charleston and had 14 against Maine.
-- Dating back to last season, Jordan Williams has posted five straight double-doubles. He is the first Maryland player to accomplish that feat since Joe Smith in 1995.
No. 16 Illinois vs. No. 22 Texas, 9:30 ET, ESPN2
-- This is the fifth all-time meeting between Texas and Illinois, with the series tied a two apiece. This will be the first meeting since Dec. 23, 2000, when Texas won 72-64 in Austin. This will be the first time the Longhorns and Illini will meet at a neutral site game. All previous games between the two teams took place either in Austin or Champaign (with the home team winning each).
-- Texas has held its first two opponents to an average of 55.0 ppg on 31.5 percent FG shooting, including a 7-of-37 (.189) mark from 3-point range. UT’s opponents (Navy and Louisiana Tech) have combined for 12 assists against 38 turnovers.
-- Texas coach Rick Barnes enters Thursday’s contest just two wins shy of reaching 500 career victories. He will become the 12th active men’s basketball Division I coach to reach the 500-win milestone. He also will become the 50th coach in NCAA Division I history to reach that mark.
-- Barnes has won at least 20 games in each of the last 11 seasons at Texas. That ties him with Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Utah State’s Stew Morrill for the sixth-longest active streak of 20-win seasons among current DI head coaches. Minnesota’s Tubby Smith has the longest current season, having recorded 20 wins or more in 17 straight seasons (over stops at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, and Minnesota).
-- Since its last meeting with Illinois 10 years ago, Texas has played 13 games against Big Ten opponents, going 7-6 in those games. While Illinois has faced just three different Big 12 foes in the last decade (Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma State), the Longhorns’ 13 games against Big Ten squads since 2000 have come against six different opponents -- Indiana (0-1), Iowa (2-1), Michigan State (2-3), Minnesota (1-0), Purdue (1-0) and Wisconsin (1-1). During that same span, Illinois is 10-2 against Big 12 teams (8-1 vs. Missouri, 1-1 vs. Kansas and 1-0 vs. Oklahoma State).
-- The Fighting Illini are just 2-5 all-time at Madison Square Garden, with the last game a 70-51 loss to Providence in December 2003. The last win came against Georgetown in the 1998 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
-- Illinois has won 87 games over the last four-plus seasons under Bruce Weber (2006-07 through present). That’s three fewer wins than the Illini had during Weber’s first three seasons in Champaign (89 wins from 2003-04 to 2005-06).
-- Over the last two games, Demetri McCamey is shooting 70.6 percent (12-of-17) and has totaled 16 assists compared to just one turnover. McCamey is averaging 8.0 assists through three games. McCamey ranked second in the NCAA in assists last year, setting a school-record with an average of 7.1 apg.
-- Illinois’ defense is holding teams to a combined 34.5 percent shooting. All three opponents have shot worse than 38 percent from the field.