Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Bulls head to NIT, first postseason berth in eight years

TAMPA — USF basketball is back in the postseason.

The Bulls, playing in the postseason for the first time in eight years, earned a No. 3 seed in the NIT and hosts North Carolina State on Tuesday night at the Sun Dome. Tipoff is set for 8, with the game broadcast on ESPNU.

"We certainly are excited to be in this tournament," coach Stan Heath said Sunday night. "It's an opportunity to play a second season, a postseason, and we're facing a very strong team. You take it one game at a time, but you're trying to win a championship."

The Bulls (20-12) will seek their first postseason win in 15 years when they face the Wolfpack (19-15), which finished in a three-way tie for ninth in the 12-team ACC at 5-11. N.C. State has played some of its best basketball in the state of Florida this season, with wins at Florida State and Miami.

Heath had the whole team to his house for dinner Sunday night to watch the NIT announcement on ESPNU. He said the players have shown excitement about playing on in two practices since the Bulls lost to Georgetown on Wednesday in the Big East tournament.

USF won its last two NIT home games, beating St. John's and Coppin State in reaching the third round in 1995.

There are four other Big East teams joining USF in the 32-team field. Cincinnati is a No. 2, hosting Weber State; Seton Hall is a No. 4, hosting Texas Tech; Connecticut is a No. 4, hosting Northeastern; and St. John's is a No. 6, traveling to Memphis. In all, 13 of the Big East's 16 teams are playing in the postseason.

USF had hoped to earn its first NCAA Tournament berth in 18 years, but the Bulls didn't have enough to earn an at-large berth. Going into this season, of the 123 Big East teams that won 20 games entering the postseason, all but three had earned trips to the NCAAs.

USF vs. N.C. State

When/where: 7 p.m. Tuesday, NIT first round; Sun Dome, Tampa

Tickets: On sale today at 8 a.m. Call toll-free 1-800-402-8557 (1-800-GO BULLS) to order tickets, which range from $4-$30. Also, check late this morning for online ticket sales. Floor seats are $30, first-level seats $20, second-level seats $10 and third-level seats $8. Youth (18 and under) and USF student tickets are $4. Season-ticket holder seat locations are reserved for their purchase but must be purchased by noon Tuesday.


Bracket 1

No. 8 Stony Brook at No. 1 Illinois, 9 p.m. Wednesday, ESPNU

No. 5 Tulsa at No. 4 Kent St., 7 p.m. Wednesday

No. 6 Illinois St. at No. 3 Dayton, 7 p.m. Wednesday

No. 7 Weber St. at No. 2 Cincinnati, 7 p.m. Wednesday, ESPN2

Bracket 2

No. 8 Jacksonville at No. 1 Arizona State, 11 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN2

No. 5 Texas Tech at No. 4 Seton Hall, 9 p.m. Tuesday

No. 6 St. John's at No. 3 Memphis, 9 p.m. Wednesday, ESPN2

No. 7 Troy at No. 2 Ole Miss, 8 p.m. Wednesday

Bracket 3

No. 8 Quinnipiac at No. 1 Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. Wednesday

No. 5 Northeastern at No. 4 UConn, 7 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN2

No. 6 Nevada at No. 3 Wichita St., 8:05 p.m. Wednesday

No. 7 Northwestern at No. 2 Rhode Island, 7 p.m. Wednesday, ESPNU

Bracket 4

No. 8 Jackson St. at No. 1 Miss.St., 10 p.m. Thursday, ESPNU

No. 5 William & Mary at No. 4 North Carolina, 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN

No. 6 N.C. State at No. 3 USF, 8 p.m. Tuesday, ESPNU

No. 7 Coastal Carolina at No. 2 UAB, 8 p.m. Tuesday

USF Bulls head to NIT, first postseason berth in eight years 03/14/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 15, 2010 8:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)