South Florida is now 11-5 in the Big East. They are tied with Georgetown for fourth place in the conference. They have games left at Louisville and against West Virginia at home. The Hoyas? They have to go to Notre Dame and then host Marquette.
So in theory, the Bulls look like they may actually have the inside track at earning a double-bye in the Big East Tournament.
Who saw that coming back in November?
What’s crazier is that the team that is currently tied for fourth in the Big East isn’t even a lock for the NCAA Tournament at this point. Much like Alabama last season — who went 12-4 in the SEC but went to the NIT — South Florida’s conference record is more the result of a favorable schedule than an overwhelming performance.
Thanks to a 46-45 win over Cincinnati on Sunday, South Florida now owns a single win over a team with an above .500 record in Big East play. That’s big. They needed it, but the Bulls have work left to do. Why? Seton Hall, who is 8-9 in Big East play, is the only other team that the Bulls have beaten that aren’t sitting outside the top ten in the conference. USF has two wins over Pitt, two wins over Villanova, two wins over Providence and one win against Rutgers, DePaul and St. John’s.
To be fair, the Bulls have only lost to quality teams. Their worst league loss? UConn, back when UConn was playing well. But non-conference losses to Auburn, Penn State, Old Dominion, Southern Miss and VCU are going to end up hurting them.
South Florida has just one top 50 win (Seton Hall) this season. They may want to win out to avoid becoming the 2012 version of Alabama.