USF hoops to play FSU in November
Stan Heath's first season as USF's basketball coach will include the Bulls playing against state rival Florida State for the first time since 2002.
USF has committed to play in an eight-team tournament, tentatively called the Daytona Beach Shootout, which would conclude with USF and FSU meeting in the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach on Nov. 18. USF has not signed a contract for the tournament but is expected to do so within the next two weeks.
The Bulls and Seminoles haven't met since New Year's Day 2002, when FSU pulled out a 78-74 win in the Sun Dome. That ended a run of meeting in five straight seasons, and the current lapse is the longest the two schools have gone without playing since the series started in 1973.
The tournament will start on college campuses, with USF hosting Cleveland State on Nov. 9. All eight schools will convene in Daytona Beach on Nov. 16, with the Bulls expected to play Rhode Island, Florida Atlantic and FSU over a three-day span. The FSU game would fall the day after USF's football team plays host to Louisville in a key Big East game.
Heath has said he'd like to play home-and-home series with two BCS-league teams as part of his nonconference schedule, and the Bulls will play at Wake Forest to finish the series started last year at the St. Pete Times Forum. Barring a late change, the Bulls will not bring a BCS team to Tampa as part of its home nonconference schedule. The most recognizable opponent to visit the Sun Dome looks to be UAB, which went 15-16 last season in its first year under former Indiana coach Mike Davis.