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Heath wants No. 8 seed in Big East tourney



USF's men's basketball team has to beat Connecticut at home on Saturday for the debate to have any significance, but as the Bulls try to finish off their NCAA Tournament resume, would you rather be the No. 8 or No. 9 seed in next week's Big East tournament in New York?

Being No. 9 means an opening game against the league's last-place team, DePaul, potentially an extra win for the Bulls' record. (DePaul upset Cincinnati in New York as a No. 16 seed last season, but that's another story.) Being No. 8 would give you an extra day of rest before the likely 8 vs. 9 game in the second round. Heath said Thursday that given a choice, he'd rather be the No. 8 seed.

"I don't think 9 winning against 16 is huge," Heath said. "I think 8 and 9 winning against each other has something that's important. More than that, if we are fortunate enough to get to that point, the next game, you win that, I think you do get in. I don't have a vote. It's my opinion. Basically, you're going to take on a No. 1 seed. At least if you put yourself in that position, it helps you tremendously."

If the Bulls (18-11, 8-9 in Big East) win Saturday, they should be the eighth or ninth seed in the tournament, with the potential to face Georgetown or Notre Dame in the second round. Lose, and they'll be somewhere between 10th and 12th, potentially facing a ranked opponent in the second round.

Heath said USF's current position reminds him of his final season at Arkansas, when his team was 16-12, won the last two games of the regular season, then won three straight games in the SEC Tournament to reach the conference championship game. With a 21-13 record, Arkansas made the NCAA Tournament that season.

"We were on the (outside) like we are right now, and we got hot," Heath said. "At the end of the year, last few regular-season games and tournament games, we got in. I know it's possible, but we've got to do our part."

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 8:15pm]


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