Bubble watch: So far, so good for USF women
USF is just about halfway through a long week of waiting on the NCAA bubble, but nearly everything has worked in the Bulls' favor so far as scores come in from other conference tournaments.
This weekend's tournaments are getting underway, so there's more games that can impact USF. More good news came Wednesday night, as TCU, another bubble team that entered the week one spot ahead of the Bulls in the RPI, took its worst loss of the season, falling to UNLV (RPI: 166) in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West. TCU finishes at 20-10 and drops to 47 in the RPI, two spots below USF, which has a superior record from a stronger conference. TCU has just two top-50 wins, against 19 Cal and 35 San Diego State, so it's reasonable to think USF would be ahead of the Horned Frogs on the bubble now. USF wants to see top-seeded Utah or second-seeded SDSU win the Mountain West and hope it's a two-bid league.
What to watch for today? In the Big 12, USF doesn't want to see seventh-seeded Texas Tech (16-14, but with an RPI of 42) or eighth-seeded Kansas (17-12, but RPI 54) make deep runs in their tournaments. Barring upsets of higher-seeded teams, they should stay behind USF on the bubble.
In the Horizon, USF wants top seed Wisconsin-Green Bay (26-3, RPI 43) to win, and two of the conference's top four seeds (No. 2 Butler, No. 4 Valparaiso) are already out. Wisconsin-Green Bay has a semifinal today against Wright State. The team USF is pulling hardest for this weekend? VCU in the Colonial, which has an RPI of 32 and would get an at-large if it didn't win its tournament. Illinois State (RPI 46) and Bowling Green (48) are now below USF in the RPI, but it's in the Bulls' interests that those top seeds win their conferences as well ...
-- Football note: Former Bulls safety Danny Verpaele, who graduated from USF in December with a degree in communications, has landed a college job as a restricted-earnings coach at I-AA Virginia Military Institute, where he'll work with the defensive secondary. VMI coach Sparky Woods was the head coach at Appalachian State when former USF defensive backs coach Troy Douglas played there, so there's a connection for Verpaele. He'll get to do a little of anything -- coaching, video work, even recruiting.
-- Milestone! This blog got its 30,000th comment this morning at 7:20 a.m., and I'm sure the regulars will be honored to know it came from Chalko: "Al, surprisingly this is the first reasonable comment I've heard around here all day. Congrats, maybe your cronies will catch on." First comment was on Aug. 4, 2005, so that's 30,000 comments in three years, seven months, which works out to about 22 per day. Thanks for (nearly) all of them ... We now return to the blog already in progress.