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Bulls Draw Villanova In Big East Tournament Opening Round

There's such a gap between the top 11 teams in the Big East and the bottom five that you can't say USF got a "good" matchup in the first round of the conference tournament. But drawing 10th-seeded Villanova isn't the worst thing that could have happened to the Bulls.

Nova has been reeling the past couple of weeks -- even though they're in no danger of missing the NCAA Tournament, they've lost their last four games and six out of eight. Their only two wins in the past month were by three at Seton Hall, and by two at DePaul thanks to a cold-blooded 3-pointer by Corey Fisher that extended the game to overtime. (Oh by the way, Fisher had an MRI on his knee the other day.) Even Jay Wright start seizing up a little bit, potentially giving away a game to Syracuse by not using any of his timeouts in the last 30 seconds as his team mucked up two possessions that could have tied or given the Wildcats the lead.

This is a banged-up, ice-cold Villanova team that may look at the challenge of trying to win five games in five days and say, "Oh the hell with this, let's get ready for the real tournament." And the Bulls had them on the ropes back in January (when Villanova was playing a lot better than they are now) before every damn shot they took started going in. So this isn't impossible. At least that's what I tell myself to try and buy into the idea of the Bulls making it to Wednesday at MSG.