Wednesday, February 22, 2012

USF gets chance to make statement tonight at Syracuse

Sitting on the bubble, the USF men’s basketball team gets a chance tonight to make its best case to get an invite to the NCAA Tournament when it travels to Syracuse.

Everyone keeps talking about the RPI rankings, which the NCAA selection committee often uses to get its last teams into the field.

USF is ranked a not too good 56th in the latest RPI standings, but the Bulls can jump a whole of teams with a victory against Syracuse (26-1, 13-1 Big East), which is the RPI’s top ranked team and #2 team in the USA Today Coaches and AP Polls.

Expecting a USF victory tonight at the Carrier Dome is granted wishful thinking. But if the Bulls can make the game competitive it would help their chances. On the flip side, a blow out loss would give their critics more ammunition.

USF (17-10, 10-4) doesn’t have what you would call a glimmering record, but part of that is due to injuries. When healthy the Bulls are 11-5 overall.

They struggled in the early part of the season because Jawanza Poland missed 11 games, freshman point guard Anthony Collins, who leads Big East freshmen in assists, missed five games and leading scorer Augustus Gilchrist missed three.

Here is a good note that could help: USF along with #1 Kentucky, #2 Syracuse and #7 North Carolina is one of just four teams that have not lost to an unranked team since December 28th. The Bulls most impressive victory is over Seton Hall, currently 36th in the RPI rankings.

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