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Some Cold Water For USF Basketball (But Just A Little Bit)

Yes, it's great to see USF basketball having some Big East success, since it hasn't come around that often. And they're in good shape to complete #TheQuestFor16. We have a KenPom subscription, and according to Pomeroy's data the Bulls are about a 70% favorite to win at least 16 games, and the same favorite to go at least 9-9 in Big East play (which makes sense since all remaining games on the schedule are in conference).

But let's calm down a little bit with the 20 wins and the bubble talk, shall we?

Don't forget USF has three stinky losses on their resume -- at Auburn, and Old Dominion and Penn State in the Hall of Fame tournament. All three of those teams clock in with KenPom ratings in the triple digits. On the flip side, the Bulls have just one top-50 win so far, against Seton Hall. Because of those bad losses, and the fact that they already have eight of them, USF is going to need something like 19 or 20 wins to get themselves on the NCAA Tournament bubble. This is very similar to two years ago, when they hit 20 wins and still didn't come that close to making the field.

Also, their Big East schedule is heavily backloaded. They have the game at Marquette tomorrow night, a visit to Georgetown next week, and then four straight KenPom top 50 teams to end the regular season -- at Syracuse, Cincinnati, at Louisville, and West Virginia. So far USF has made a lot of hay against their peers and teams that are worse than they are. But things are going to get tougher down the stretch.

This season is shaping up as a nice surprise and it's trending towards a trip to one postseason tournament or another. (Collin is probably pre-mourning the financial pain of a Bern's bet he made before conference play began, which he's well on his way to losing.) Let's let the surprise keep unfolding and try not to raise our expectations or dream too big at this point in the season.