TAMPA — The NCAA Tournament success of USF men's basketball has the Bulls all over ESPN's programming radar. Eight Big East games involving USF are scheduled for ESPN's family of networks, up from three last season.
The Bulls have at least one appearance on ESPN itself, a Feb. 17 Sunday afternoon home game at Louisville; a Feb. 6 home game against Marquette is set for ESPN2. A Jan. 17 game at Rutgers could be on ESPN or ESPN2, and five other games are lined up for ESPNU, including two home games: Providence on Feb. 13 and Connecticut on March 6.
A year ago, on the way to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years, the Bulls had just two games on ESPN2 and one on ESPNU.
USF opens its Big East season with a tough one-two at home: Syracuse on Jan. 6 and Villanova on Jan. 9. The Bulls never have more than two games in a row on the road or at home; USF's two games with Marquette come in a span of three games and eight days, in Milwaukee on Jan. 28 and in Tampa on Feb. 6.
The full schedule: January: 6, Syracuse; 9, Villanova; 12, at Louisville; 17, at Rutgers; 19, Georgetown; 23, at Seton Hall; 26, Notre Dame, 28, at Marquette. February: 3, at Connecticut, 6, Marquette; 9, at Villanova; 13, Providence; 17, Louisville; 20, at St. John's; 27, at Pittsburgh. March: 3, DePaul; 6, Connecticut; 9, at Cincinnati.
Texas Tech: The school said it reprimanded basketball coach Billy Gillispie this year after learning he was exceeding NCAA practice-time limits.
Big ten: Penn State and Ohio State are banned from playing in the conference title game or a bowl as part of NCAA sanctions, but both are still eligible to win the conference's Leaders Division and receive a trophy this season. Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said he'd mention "the good news'' to his players but added, "I'm sure they read the Internet, so they know."
Lawsuit involves pelini: A woman sued Nebraska coach Bo Pelini's foundation and offensive coordinator Tim Beck, alleging she suffered brain injuries at a football clinic put on by the foundation two years ago. Beverly Morgan, who seeks $92,500, said she fell and hit the back of her head while running with a football through two lines of women holding blocking pads.
Illinois: Starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase practiced, his injured left ankle improved, but coach Tim Beckman hasn't decided if Scheelhaase can play Saturday at Arizona State.
Notre dame: Former Irish stars Mirko Jurkovic and Tim Brown will be analysts on the school's radio network the next two Saturdays. Allen Pinkett was suspended after saying teams need bad guys for an edge.
South Carolina: Quarterback Connor Shaw (bruised throwing shoulder) returned to practice and appeared pain-free. His status for Saturday against East Carolina is unclear.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.