Face Off : Will the Charlotte loss hurt the Bulls’
According to coach Seth Greenberg, USF’s home loss against Charlotte was not the Bulls’ season. But neither was the loss to Memphis four days earlier. The second Conference USA defeat in the span of a week hurts on its own. But for a team whose goal is a bid in the NCAA tournament, a conference loss on national television is devastating. A win against Charlotte would have balanced out the loss to Memphis.
Let’s be honest. The Bulls lost a 10-point lead at the half and at one point led by 14, and everyone in college basketball had a chance to see it. And this time it wasn’t just brief highlights and a sportsticker, it was primetime on ESPN.
Sure, the argument can be made that the Bulls have sixteen conference games and one game does not a season make. But with only two more nationally televised games (Louisville on ESPN Feb. 1 and Memphis on ESPN2 on Feb. 20) the importance of that loss to Charlotte should be taken very seriously.
Though competition is strong and teams ranked highly, C-USA bids in the NCAA tournament have often been limited to say the least.
Without a significant number of conference wins and a strong showing in the conference tournament, all the Bulls will be judged on is what is seen of them on the national level.And right now, what was seen in primetime was a second half where USF was outscored 52-39 at home.
- Jarrett Guthrie
Losing to Charlotte was not the death knell of this team. Sure it’s not good to lose conference games on your home floor, but it left the Bulls tied for second in the division, with tonight’s game at Tulane for sole possession of the second spot. Not too bad a position to be in with less than a third of our C-USA games played. With Memphis still having to play at the Sun Dome, the return trip by the Tigers becomes the crucial game on the schedule.
Charlotte went collectively unconscious last week. If the roof of the dome was still Teflon, they’d be checking for leaks from raining threes. Reggie “Blood and Guts” Kohn, who is playing on basically a broken leg, had to cover Jobey “Lights Out” Thomas man-to-man. Ouch. It just means one extra road win is needed.
Tonight will be a good chance to get it.
This team has 3 losses to non-Top 10 opponents – FSU, a road loss to a quality Memphis squad, and a tough home loss to the 49ers. Beating Tulane tonight would be a big help, but even losses to the Green Wave tonight and Cincinnati at home on Saturday won’t kill us.
Ten conference wins gets it done, and how you get there is irrelevant. I’m leaving for New Orleans right now, and we diehard residents of GreenbergOpolis will be at Fogelman Arena tonight. Big Will McDonald will be playing in his hometown. When he sees all the Bulls in the stands, Brandon Brown won’t be able to stop or contain him. Will gets 36, Bulls win 91-78.
- Collin Sherwin