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Heath on NCAA bubble: 'I think our team is worthy'

9

March

It will be three days of uncertainty for USF men's basketball, three long days between Thursday's overtime loss to Notre Dame and Sunday's announcement of the NCAA field of 68.

"I won't sleep," Bulls coach Stan Heath said after Thursday's loss. "You want to hear your name called on Sunday at 6. I think we've done a great job of putting ourselves in a great position. I think our team is worthy. But there's some people that have a lot of information that make wise decisions. We'll let our case rest with them."

Unless the selection committee announces its choices, we're left with what the media experts are saying. ESPN's Joe Lunardi, who updated his projections just after 2 a.m., still has USF not only in the field, but safely above the "last four in" that will play in Dayton's "First Four." Seton Hall is the last team to make his NCAA cut.

That's encouraging, given that of the 10 teams on the bubble for Lunardi and CBS's Jerry Palm that played Thursday, eight of them won, with the biggest victory being Texas' win over Iowa State. Lunardi has that moving Texas above the "last four in" and one spot behind USF. That also means seven other teams -- N.C. State and Miami, Marshall, Ole Miss, Colorado State, Arizona and California -- all advanced and have opportunities to do so again on Friday. Xavier and Dayton meet in another bubble battle.

There was good news Thursday -- Washington and Oregon lost in the Pac-12 quarterfinals, leaving open the possibility the Pac-12 may have only one bid if California (RPI 37) can win the tournament. And Northwestern took a bad loss to Minnesota -- any team thought to be below USF and done with its conference tournament is a good thing for the Bulls.

We'll run through all of Friday's possibilities in the morning. SI.com's Andy Glockner tweeted Thursday night that his "best guess" had USF missing the cut. It's all interpretation and speculation until Sunday night ...

[Last modified: Friday, March 9, 2012 3:06am]

    

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