The day is here: Bulls play in NCAAs tonight
To be truthful, it hasn't been quite 20 years since USF last played in the NCAA Tournament. The span falls five days short of that, since the Bulls last had the honor of ending their season where college basketball players dream of ending their seasons.
So tonight, the Bulls take on California at the University of Dayton Arena, which has hosted more NCAA Tournament games than any other venue in the country. Tipoff should be around 9 p.m., with a national spotlight on USF and its opportunity for the program's first NCAA Tournament victory.
Tuesday's games should be a reminder that no lead is safe in the NCAAs -- Western Kentucky was down 15 with seven minutes to play and rallied to beat Mississippi Valley State, and BYU was down 25 points in the first half before making a huge comeback and beating Iona. Win, and the Bulls live to fight another day, with fifth-seeded Temple waiting in Nashville.
HOMECOMING: Dayton is a familiar place for USF assistant coach Andy Hipsher, who grew up here while his father Dan (a former USF assistant under Heath) spent eight seasons as a Flyers assistant from 1981-89. The elder Hipsher interviewed for the head coaching job at Dayton, but that went to current DePaul coach Oliver Purnell, with Hipsher going on to be head coach at Stetson and Akron.