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Pittsburgh has made the Petersen Events Center one of college basketball's most intimidating venues over the past decade.
Just not to Louisville.
Coming off three impressive road victories, the 16th-ranked Panthers are riding a 30-game home winning streak that dates back nearly two years to a loss to the Cardinals, who visit Pittsburgh on Saturday.
While Pittsburgh's three wins this month have come on the road against opponents who are a combined 38-12, the record of its nine home victims is 73-76.
The Petersen Events Center has been a tough venue for any visitor over the years, however. Pitt (14-2, 4-0 Big East) has won 92.5 percent of its home games since the building opened in 2002-03, the fifth-highest percentage in the country.
It's also won 30 in a row at home, tied for the second-longest streak in the nation, by an average of 17.9 points. That includes 12 straight in Big East play by 14.7 per game since Louisville (12-5, 3-1) visited on Feb. 24, 2008.
The Cardinals won 75-73 behind 18 points from Edgar Sosa , running their record in Pitt's new facility to 2-0. No other visitor has won there more than once.
"Pitt is playing the best basketball along with (No. 4) Villanova in the Big East and they present a number of problems," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "Certainly we have a big mountain to climb."
While the Cardinals have fallen out of the AP poll after opening the season ranked 19th, the Panthers didn't get a single vote as recently as Dec. 28 but have turned into one of the nation's hottest teams.
"I know other people may look at us differently and where we're picked," coach Jamie Dixon said. "But I believe any team that commits to one another and commits to playing together can be as good as they want to be."
"When they got Dixon and Brown back, that's when they became a great basketball team," Pitino said. "When they got them back, they not only became experienced but also became much more explosive offensively."
Sophomore Ashton Gibbs has been the Panthers' offensive leader in conference play, averaging 21.3 points and never scoring fewer than 19.
He's gotten help from different sources in their three road victories. Dixon scored 21 in an 82-72 win at then-No. 5 Syracuse on Jan. 2, Brown had 17 as Pitt beat Cincinnati 74-71 two days later, and Brad Wanamaker contributed 19 points in a 67-57 victory at No. 15 Connecticut on Wednesday.
"Everybody in that locker room is confident in each other," said Gibbs, who played just 10 minutes a game as a freshman. "We knew what we had coming into this season."
With Clark and Williams gone to the NBA, Sosa and Samardo Samuels have been left to carry the offensive load for Louisville. Sosa averaged 17.0 points and Samuels 12.7 as the Cardinals won their first three conference games, but the two combining for 38 on Monday against No. 4 Villanova wasn't enough.
Their teammates shot 24.4 percent and Louisville committed 22 turnovers while blowing a 17-point lead in a 92-84 loss.
Louisville fell to 1-4 when it shoots 40 percent or lower.