Big East basketball coaches say after every road game, win or lose, that away wins are extremely
difficult to come by in the country’s most prestigious conference.
It’s because those road wins are so hard to come by that they bring such recognition for the teams that are able to achieve them. USF will get another chance for an away win tonight, with a game against No. 17 Marquette in Milwaukee.
The Bulls (12-8, 5-2) are off to an impressive start in the league and find themselves in a four-way tie for third place in the Big East with Marquette, West Virginia and Cincinnati They are 2-1 on the road in the Big East.
Despite what the coaches say, some road wins are easier than others. This season, the Bulls’ road league wins have come against weaker opposition.
USF knocked off Villanova at The Pavilion outside Philadelphia, but the Wildcats are 10-10 overall and just 3-5 in the Big East. Sunday, the Bulls topped DePaul in Rosemont, Ill., but the Blue Demons are 10-9 and 1-6 in the conference.
Road wins are good, but quality road wins are better.
Beating Marquette (16-4, 5-2) tonight would qualify as a quality win, as the Golden Eagles are nationally ranked and 10-1 at home this season, with only a loss to Vanderbilt on Dec. 29.
A win would also erase memories of one of USF’s most painful losses from last season.
The Bulls had Marquette on the ropes at the Sun Dome, leading by as many as 16 points, only to end up losing 59-58.
Even before beating DePaul, USF had eclipsed its win totals from last year both overall and in conference play. This season has already been a step forward.
If the Bulls knock off Marquette tonight, their steps will only grow larger.