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Pitt's great escape

If you didn't watch the Pitt Panthers' first-round NCAA basketball tournament game Friday afternoon and just saw the final score of 72-62, you might have thought it wasn't a that bad game for the Panthers.
You'd be wrong.
The game was much, much closer than the final score indicated.
In fact, East Tennessee State thought an upset was brewing. One quote, in particular, stood out after reading the game stories.
"We had them. We just couldn't get over the hump," ETSU guard Kevin Tiggs told reporters after the loss.
They were a pretty confident bunch and realized an opportunity slipped away.
Pitt escaped, to put it mildly.
And if it wasn't for DeJuan Blair's monster game (27 points, 16 rebounds), the No. 1-seeded Panthers might have made history for all the wrong reasons.
Now, a matchup against Oklahoma State looms Sunday.
Maybe the close call against East Tennessee was a wake-up call. Maybe the Panthers just needed to shake off the rust after a layoff between the Big East tournament and the NCAA tournament.
My gut tells me they beat Okie State.
But I'm also worried about a potential matchup with Xavier after that.
Former Pitt point guard and dribbler extraordinaire Sean Miller coaches the Musketeers.
It would be just like Pitt to lose that game.

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