They're in! USF makes NCAAs, headed to Dayton
After a week of waiting, USF men's basketball got the news it was hoping for Sunday night, as the Bulls are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years. USF will play in the "First Four" in Dayton on Wednesday to face California, with the winner advancing to play fifth-seeded Temple on Friday in Nashville.
It wasn't an easy wait for USF, which saw three regionals unveiled without hearing the Bulls' name called -- in the final Midwest regional, USF was announced for one of the final four spots given to at-large teams.
USF (20-13) set a school record with 12 conference wins -- in Big East history, all 69 teams that won 12 or more conference games entering this season had made the NCAA Tournament. USF picked up key wins in the final week of the regular season by beating the two teams that wound up playing for the Big East championship -- first beating Cincinnati at home, then winning at Louisville.
The Bulls put their postseason in jeopardy on Thursday when they couldn't close out a win against Notre Dame, losing after having a 3-point lead and the ball with 40 seconds left. The Bulls lost in overtime, and much of the past four days has had national media analysts debating which side of the NCAA bubble USF should be on.