USF vs. Providence
When/where: 2; Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa
Records: Providence 12-9, 1-7 Big East; USF 12-9, 5-3
Notable: If USF's to a point where it could look past an opponent, this is the kind the Bulls shouldn't: Providence has struggled in Big East play but is capable of big wins, as in the Friars' lone Big East win, a 31-point upset of Louisville. … The Bulls get the Friars twice within two weeks, and those games could be the difference between the NIT and missing the cut. … Providence has solid scorers in guards Vincent Council (16.7 ppg) and Bryce Cotten (15), but USF has won with the Big East's toughest defense. … The Bulls have won three of the past four against Providence — albeit close games — so they should have confidence at home. … Watch for the chance of highlight-reel dunks from Bulls guards Jawanza Poland, Victor Rudd and Hugh Robertson.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer