If a signature win is the biggest hole in USF's NCAA Tournament resume, the Bulls have ample opportunity to remedy that in the final two weeks of the season, starting tonight at No. 2 Syracuse.
A win at the Carrier Dome would be the biggest in Bulls history — NCAA bubble context or not — but even if USF (17-10, 10-4 Big East) can't pull off the upset, they have two home dates against other Big East teams battling for the same postseason goal.
With that in mind, the Big East's own bubble contingent — teams like Cincinnati, West Virginia, Connecticut and Seton Hall — will shift around the Bulls in the next four days before USF hosts Cincinnati. West Virginia is at Notre Dame tonight, Cincinnati has Louisville at home on Thursday, West Virginia gets Marquette at home Friday and Connecticut hosts Syracuse on Saturday. USF needs those bubble teams to fall short of upsets.
If USF can simply win its remaining home games against Cincinnati and West Virginia, it will have at least 12 Big East wins, and an advantage on other league bubble teams; a win tonight or next week at Louisville would be more convincing to the selection committee.
USF needs one win to secure a first-round bye in the Big East tournament, unimaginable for most of the Bulls' history in the league. That will give the Bulls a second-day game they should win, then a quarterfinal game to showcase itself as NCAA-worthy.
DEDICATION: In an honor that USF president Judy Genshaft first announced at Lee Roy Selmon's funeral service in September, USF's main athletic facility — a centerpiece building built during Selmon's time as athletic director — will be formally renamed the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center this afternoon.
"An enduring example of integrity, academic excellence, compassion, competitiveness and commitment to young people," reads the plaque outside the main entrance to the building that now bears his name, but you can see Selmon's legacy quite literally on USF's athletes this spring.
Baseball coach Lelo Prado is having one player each game wear No. 63 in tribute to Selmon. Through three games, that player has had at least one hit, and the Bulls are 3-0.
"They've embraced it, and now I have a big problem, because now I've got everybody wanting to wear it," Prado said Tuesday. "I would love to dress 35 guys in No. 63, because we know he's looking down on us. It would make my life a lot easier. It's a tribute to what kind of man he was, and it's special to them."
THIS AND THAT: Asiantii Woulard, a coveted quarterback from Winter Park, committed to sign with the Bulls next year, helping a position of need. No scholarship QBs were in the 2012 class just signed. Woulard, 6 feet 4 and 205 pounds, is the third commitment for USF in 2013. The Bulls are expected to sign two QBs in this class. … Jerome Pathon, announced Tuesday as USF's new receivers coach, was close friends with his predecessor, Phil McGeoghan, a teammate with the New Orleans Saints. McGeoghan recommended Pathon for the job. … Three former Bulls baseball players are in spring training: INF Jeff Baisley with the Dodgers, and RHPs Dan Otero and Shawn Sanford with the Giants. … Softball is 6-1, and USF has shown pitching depth. Freshman Sam Greiner and junior Lindsey Richardson have combined to give up two earned runs in 322/3 innings.
Greg Auman can be reached at [email protected] and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bulls and follow him at Twitter.com/gregauman.