Big East hoops schedule encouraging for Bulls
With the Big East moving to an 18-game league schedule this season, USF learned the details of its conference schedule on Friday, with an attractive run of home games and overall a favorable draw that could help the Bulls make their first trip to the Big East tournament.
The nine home games include four of the top five teams in last year's standings -- Louisville, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Syracuse -- as well as high-profile opponents like Connecticut and West Virginia, with St. John's, Seton Hall and Rutgers rounding out the home schedule.
Under the new format, each team has three "mirror" opponents it plays twice, and for USF, those three are Rutgers, Seton Hall and Syracuse. Using last year's standings as a model, it's the second-easiest schedule, with extra games against teams that finished 13th (Rutgers) and 15th (Seton Hall). Only Seton Hall has an easier three mirror games (USF, Rutgers, Marquette) -- and you could argue that Marquette is in better position to improve its conference standing as anyone in the league.
In all, USF has five games against other teams that missed the Big East tournament last season. If it took six wins to make it to New York in a 16-game schedule last season, it likely would take seven to get there this time around. Thoughts? Comments?