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ESPN projected NCAA field includes USF women



Newsy off-day for USF women's basketball, as the Bulls picked up enough votes to be an unofficial No. 28 in the Associated Press Top 25 after wins last week against No. 12 Louisville and No. 21 Syracuse.

Senior guard Andrea Smith, who had 35 points in the Louisville win and 18 more against Syracuse, was honored as the Big East's Player of the Week, and in perhaps the best news of the day for Bulls fans, USF has moved into's "Bracketology" projected NCAA field as a No. 11 seed.

Charlie Creme's new projections Monday show the Bulls facing sixth-seeded Florida State in College Station, Texas, in the opening round. The Big East now has eight teams in the ESPN projected field, with St. John's and USF among the "final four in."

"The two games they won were huge in getting them elevated to this level now, but it also helped that a number of other games around them lost," Creme said by phone, mentioning Miami and St. Joe's. "Nobody elevated themselves like South Florida."

Creme told the Times on Monday that the Bulls likely to win two remaining road games -- at Rutgers on Tuesday and at Georgetown one week from today -- and win their opening game in the Big East tournament to be confident of staying on the right side of the NCAA bubble. USF also faces No. 3 Connecticut at home on Saturday, but that loss wouldn't be damaging to USF's NCAA status.

"They need to win those other two (at Rutgers and Georgetown). ... If South Florida won only one of the next three, there's still a chance they could be in, but from a let's-be-safe standpoint, these last two and winning an early-round game in the Big East tournament (should be enough) ... South Florida is still in that spot where they're vulnerable to the bid stealers."

[Last modified: Monday, February 25, 2013 2:25pm]


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