The biggest moment and win in the history of the USF men’s basketball program happened Thursday night in Memphis.
USF beat a team with a winning record for the third straight game, this time knocking off No.2-seed Cincinatti 80-68 in the C-USA Tournament quarterfinals Thursday at the FedEx Forum.
Not bad for a team that was picked to finish last in the conference before the season.
And not bad considering the Bearcats (24-6) came in on a six-game winning streak and had trounced the Bulls earlier this season.
USF (14-15) now faces Memphis tonight at 6.
Before its three-game winning streak, USF hadn’t beaten a team with a winning record all season. Now, it’s happened three times in the past six days and the Bulls are headed to the C-USA Tournament semifinals for the first time in school history.
After a tightly played first half, the Bulls blew it open in the second half, courtesy of Terrence Leather.
The Bulls took the lead for good with 12:27 to go with a Leather lay-up that made it 51-50.
Leather then hit two 3-pointers — yes, 3-pointers — on the next two possessions to give the Bulls a seven-point cushion. The senior forward finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
USF shot 47 percent for the game, and led by as many 14 points in the second half while clearly outhustling and outgrinding the Bearcats.
Ranked No. 20 in the nation, Cincinati (24-6) made a run late in the second half but never got closer than six as the Bulls pulled off their third consecutive upset.
The Bulls are now two wins away from a C-USA Tournament Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth.