Snubbed: Bulls left out of NCAA field
TAMPA -- In the same room where USF celebrated its first-ever NCAA berth a year ago, the Bulls watched in silence Monday night as 64 teams had their name called. USF wasn't among them, left to the hollow consolation of a spot in the Women's NIT.
That the Bulls lost six of their final eight games weighed heavily on players, especially four seniors who had taken a step forward in each of their seasons at USF. The selection committee cited USF's 2-10 record against RPI top 50 teams, saying that the Bulls "were one of the teams on the board all the way to the very last ballot." Two of three analysts at ESPN.com named USF as the biggest snub left out of the NCAA field.
Most surprising to the Bulls was the DePaul, whose RPI of 60 was 29 spots lower than USF, made the NCAA field when USF didn't. USF had a better overall and league record than the Blue Demons, though DePaul won the head-to-head matchup on its home court, 72-65 on Feb. 6.
UPDATE: USF has received a first-round bye in the 48-team WNIT field. The Bulls will face the winner of Thursday's St. Joseph's-Coppin State game. That game will be played sometime between Saturday and Monday, and while it likely will take place at the Sun Dome, the date and site have yet to be finalized.