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Pitt tops Bryant, 72-67

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

So, crap. I thought the open thread was up for the Pitt game tonight, but alas, I was mistaken on a great many fronts. My bad.

I've been out all day and, trust me, there aren't many things that would have been more entertaining than coming home to read the comments after Pitt nearly crapped away another game. In those terms, my loss is far greater than yours, friends.

The Panthers, ICYMI, squeaked out a win against Bryant, 72-67. I didn't see it, but from the sounds of things, it doesn't seem like that was the worst thing in the world.

Jamel Artis continues to assert himself and had a game-high 32 points. The interesting thing to me about his emergence is that he is really becoming the focal point on offense. He led the team against Notre Dame taking 14 shots and Michael Young was the only other player with ten. Against Bryant, things were even more lopsided where he had 17 - Josh Newkirk's 11 were the next highest.

That's a clear shift from the beginning of the season when Young was considered to be the star on offense. This isn't to suggest that Young is going away or will even ultimately play Robin to Artis' Batman. It should prove, though, that Pitt could have two very good players in the pair and having both of those guys playing at a high level makes the future look that much brighter.

In terms of Bryant, it was just a terrible rebound game, obviously, after a huge win. Games like this one are pretty good reasons why it's hard to take this team's NCAA hopes all that seriously right now. It's still a possibility of course, but to go from the high of beating a top ten Notre Dame team and then nearly lose this one (Pitt actually trailed with a little over a minute to play) at home really underlines just how far this team has to go.

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