Pitt (2-2) has had a very hot-and-cold start to the 2019-20 basketball season, starting with a big win against Florida State followed by two tough losses at home to Nicholls State and West Virginia. Monmouth (1-3) enters Monday night’s contest on a three-game losing streak, including their most recent 112-57 loss to no. 4 Kansas on Friday, Nov. 15.
- Pitt and Monmouth have never played against one another in a regular season college basketball game. Tonight’s matchup will be their first.
- To my eye, Monmouth has not beaten an ACC opponent on the road going back at least 30 years. They beat Miami during the 1987-88 campaign, but Miami was an independent at the time. Monmouth took down no. 17 Notre Dame 70-68 at home in Nov. 2015, however, for an impressive ACC win.
- The Hawks had a really impressive run in 2015-16 in addition to the Notre Dame win, as they beat USC (83-73) at a neutral site, as well as both Georgetown (83-68) and UCLA (84-81) on the road. The Hawks finished that season with an impressive 28-8 record.
- Pitt enters tonight’s game on a two-game losing streak at the Petersen Events Center for the first time ever.
- Monmouth Head Coach King Rice is in his ninth season with the Hawks, and has amassed a 132-136 record as head coach. The Hawks are just 26-44 since the start of 2017-18.
- Impressively, however, is the fact that Rice led the Hawks to the MAAC Championship game last season after the Hawks jumped out to 12 consecutive losses to start the year. Following their 0-12 start, Monmouth went 14-8 on their way to the championship contest. They lost the game, and thereby just narrowly missed an automatic NCAA tournament berth.
- Monmouth is currently ranked no. 252 in the KenPom rankings,
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