In? Out? Bulls projected squarely on NCAA bubble
After a long week of uncertainty, USF men's basketball finds out tonight if it's made history as the first Bulls team to make the NCAA Tournament in 20 years.
But going in, with only a few games today, USF is squarely on the NCAA bubble, with some national projections having the Bulls firmly in the tournament field, some with the Bulls in the "First Four" in Dayton, and others having the Bulls miss the tournament entirely. Which is true? USF fans won't know until tonight at 6, when the field is announced on national television.
Here's a rundown of the current projected brackets: CBSsports.com's Jerry Palm has suddenly upgraded the Bulls above the bubble to a No. 11 seed, facing Temple in Albuquerque on Thursday. ESPN's Joe Lunardi doesn't have a full bracket, but his latest update has USF in the "last four in" -- as the best of the four headed to Dayton; Yahoo.com's Mike Huguenin has the Bulls among his final No. 12 seeds, as does USAtoday.com's Nicole Auerbach. Others aren't as high on the Bulls and have them headed to the Postseason NIT, like SI.com's Andy Glockner and Foxsports.com's Andy Bottoms.
(2 p.m. update: Good news from Lunardi, who has decided to upgrade the Bulls from Dayton to a full-fledged No. 12 seed -- his latest projection has the Bulls facing Murray State (a good draw as No. 5 seeds go) in Portland, Oregon.)
There's one last game to watch with bubble implications -- today's 1 p.m. Atlantic-10 final, where St. Bonaventure could create one last problem if it beats Xavier. If Xavier is suddenly a consideration for an at-large, they'd be 21-12, with a 37 RPI (16 spots ahead of USF) with a better record vs. the RPI top 50 (4-6) and top 100 (9-10) than USF has. So a St. Bonaventure win could easily drop the Bulls one spot on the bubble.