Tar Heels will face Panthers in first sellout of Jeff Capel era
The Pittsburgh men’s basketball program will face off with the North Carolina Tar Heels in the teams’ ACC season opener on Saturday January 5th, and there won’t be an empty seat in the building.
The University of Pittsburgh announced this week that the noon game is officially a sellout, marking the first of its kind in nearly two years. The Panthers’ last home game to reach capacity at the Petersen Events Center was a February 28, 2016 tilt against the Duke Blue Devils. The Panthers, led by James Robinson and Jamel Artis, beat the No. 15 Blue Devils 76-62.
It’s also been announced by the school that the Panthers’ January 22nd game against Duke is sold out. An additional 200 standing room only tickets were offered to the public, which sold out in two days.
Saturday’s sellout will be the first since former Duke player and assistant coach Jeff Capel took over the program in 2018. In his first season as head coach of the Panthers, Capel has led the program to 10 wins in its first 13 games.
The Panthers’ early season success is thanks in part to sensational freshman guard Xavier Johnson. Johnson has averaged 16.3 points, five assists and 3.6 rebounds per game, and has scored double-figure points in each of the team’s 13 contests this season.
The Tar Heels come to town with a 10-3 record on the season, their most recent game a 77-57 victory over Harvard. With just one signature win on the season – a resounding 103-90 victory over then-No. 4 Gonzaga — and losses to Texas, Michigan and Kentucky, the Tar Heels still have some unanswered questions as they enter conference play.
Stick with Keeping It Heel for complete pre and postgame coverage of the Tar Heels’ ACC opener against the Panthers at 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday.