For a brief moment Sunday afternoon, after the USF men’s basketball team outlasted Cincinnati, the Bulls (18-11, 11-5) were projected as members of the 68-team NCAA Tournament field.
Moments after the game ended, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi said that USF had replaced Saint Joseph’s as the last and final team in his projected field. Lunardi has no involvement in the selection process, which is conducted by an independent committee of 10 athletic directors and conference administrators, but is widely considered to be the best at tournament projections.
USF’s time in the projected field was ended just hours later after Miami beat No. 16 Florida State 78-62 in Coral Gables, knocking the Bulls into the first spot on the outside looking in to Lunardi’s field.
The Bulls are grouped with Saint Joseph’s, Virginia Commonwealth and Colorado State as the first four teams out, behind Miami, Xavier, Texas and Northwestern as the final four teams in.
The Bulls are continuing to rise due in large part to point guard Anthony Collins’ play, including
two crucial free throws with 3.2 seconds left in the win over the Bearcats.
For his performance, Collins was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for the second consecutive week Monday.
USF next plays at No. 18 Louisville on Wednesday night.
USF’s sophomore Sara Nevins was rewarded by the Big East on Monday for her time spent in the pitching circle last week. Nevin made four appearances in the five games played last week and helped lead the Bulls to four wins, taking their season record to 10-2.
The stellar weekend earned her the award of Big East Pitcher of the Week.
Nevins, a sophomore, pitched 16 innings, allowing just one run and putting up a 0.44 ERA while striking out 23 batters. She was credited for two wins and a save for her weekend of work, to go along with her award from the Big East.
Against Mississippi State on Friday night, she notched a complete game shutout, striking out seven Bulldogs without issuing a walk.
Baseball in Orlando
The USF baseball team has the benefit of a schedule filled with nearly all home games. From their home opener on Feb. 22 to their trip to play at Cincinnati on April 5, the Bulls will play just one non-exhibition road game, and zero games outside of Florida.
That road game is tonight, when the Bulls head to Orlando to play UCF at 6:30. Other than an exhibition against the Yankees on Friday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, the rest of their games through the beginning of conference play will be at the USF Baseball Stadium.
Live audio coverage of the game will be available on gousfbulls.com.