ESPN: USF women 'hardly secure' for NCAAs
It's still a full week until the women's NCAA Tournament field is announced, and a new projection at ESPN.com has USF as the last team to make the NCAA cut, in danger of falling out with an upset or two in this week's conference tournaments.
"As nicely as the Bulls finished the season, the last image we saw was them being turned into road kill by Connecticut," ESPN.com's Charlie Creme writes of Sunday's 79-42 loss to the No. 1 Huskies in the notes for his latest Bracketology update. Creme projects USF as a No. 12 seed, facing Kansas State in Chattanooga in the opening round.
Creme writes that if Middle Tennessee State or South Dakota State fail to win their conference's automatic berths, they would merit an at-large one, at USF's expense. "If one of them loses," Creme writes, "South Florida will not receive an at-large bid."
MTSU and South Dakota State already won Monday to earn spots in Tuesday's Sun Belt and Summit finals, so USF is one win away from avoiding each of those problems.
Interestingly, Creme has both Michigan State and Minnesota ahead of USF, even though both Big Ten schools have worse records, lower RPIs and come in with little momentum. Michigan State, with an RPI of 49 and a 20-10 record, has dropped three of its last four; Minnesota, with an RPI of 51 and a 19-11 record, has dropped four of five, including a nine-point loss to Northwestern, which has an RPI of 234.
USF (22-10) is No. 45 at CollegeRPI.com, and the Bulls rank 44th at RPIratings.com. Again, we'll continue to update the Bulls on the NCAA bubble all week ...
UPDATE: Third-seeded Charlotte beat Richmond to win the Atlantic-10 title on Monday night, which should give the A-10 three teams in the NCAA but should keep Richmond (23-9) from an at-large bid. And top-seeded Gonzaga won the West Coast title, which is one less conference for Bulls fans to worry about.