Big night for USF women (expletives deleted)
With the second round of the NCAA men's tournament and the opening round of the women's today, it's a busy day of basketball, with 24 NCAA games in the next 12 hours. It's also the first game for USF's women since their NCAA snub, as the Bulls play host to Florida Gulf Coast University at the Sun Dome tonight at 7.
The game got quite a writeup in the Naples Daily News, which talked with coach Jose Fernandez, who was frank about not knowing how his team will handle the game mentally after the disappointment of not being picked by the NCAA selection committee. Here's a quote from the story:
"(The Bulls) can go one of two ways -- 'We're going to use the NIT to show the committee we should be in the NCAA tournament' or 'We don't really give a (expletive) about playing in this NIT.' Hopefully we come out and show the committee we should be in the NCAA tournament, that's the only way. Or we could come out and say, '(Expletive) this (expletive), we don't want to be here.' I know the underclassmen will play because I can hold their scholarships over their head."
We'll be at tonight's game and will blog live throughout -- there are enough scenarios in play that USF apparently doesn't know when or where their next game will be. If they win, the Bulls will have an extra day of rest for their next game, against the winner of Sunday's Mississippi-Murray State game. The WNIT schedule calls for the third round to be played between Wednesday and Friday. Murray State will have played two games on the road if they advance, so they might be more likely to host the Bulls than Mississippi, which hosts Sunday's game.
-- Baseball opened Big East play with a barrage of 18 hits, including four from sophomore Ryan Lockwood, in a 6-3 home win against Rutgers. The Bulls face the Scarlet Knights again tonight at 7, so I might duck over at halftime from the women's game to catch a few outs.
-- Softball, off to a 4-0 start in the Big East, lost a doubleheader at Louisville on Friday, falling 5-0 and then 5-4 in nine innings. The Cardinals are 24-3 this season, so they're among the tougher opponents USF will face in Big East play, picked to finish third in the league's preseason poll, one spot behind USF.