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Joe Raymond, Associated Press
Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon reacts to a play during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday Dec. 27, 2011, in South Bend, Ind.

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh center Dante Taylor understands if teams around the country are wondering what's wrong with the 22nd-ranked Panthers.

Typically dominant during November and December, Pitt already has lost three times, including a 72-59 setback against Notre Dame on Tuesday. If the Panthers (11-3) can't find a way to beat resilient Cincinnati on Sunday they could start 0-2 in the Big East for the first time in more than a decade.

Lingering groin and abdominal injuries to point guard Trayvon Woodall have forced Big East preseason player of the year Ashton Gibbs to do most of the ballhandling, and his numbers have taken a hit as a result.

Just as worrisome for Pitt is a lack of defensive intensity. Teams are shooting 44 percent from the field against Pitt, up from 39 percent a year ago.