We interrupt your regularly scheduled basketball excitement to cover some of the other things happening in USF athletics over the past few days:
-- OK, let's go right back to basketball for a couple minutes. USF clinched their first-ever Big East tournament bye on Saturday, and as Gary will detail later today, they're still very much alive for a coveted double-bye, which would mean the Bulls wouldn't play until Thursday.
-- Joey Johnston, who's been writing about USF athletics as a columnist for as long as I've been following them, has taken over as the catch-all Bulls reporter for the Tribune, TBO, and Channel 8. He has a feature story about Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, who has been USF's most improved and maybe its most versatile player this season.
-- The women's basketball team won their regular-season finale in overtime against Providence, running their record to 16-14 and 8-8 in conference play. They'll start the Big East tournament as the #9 seed, facing Pittsburgh (who took the donut in Big East play) on Friday.
-- Good news for offensive lineman David "Boo" Simon, who had been hospitalized with a bout of seizures over the weekend. Simon, who redshirted last season, was released from the hospital and is hopeful that some medication can bring his problems under control and allow him to return to USF, if not to the football team, this fall. Let's hope for the best.
-- A couple of notes from the NFL scouting combine, where Darrell Scott ran a lackluster 4.68 in the 40-yard dash and then mentioned he had an injured quad; and New York Giants' general manager Jerry Reese raving about All-Pro defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
-- Men's soccer coach George Kiefer is going back to the junior college well, which worked out beautifully last year with Dom Dwyer. This year, he's found Edwin Moalosi, who scored 21 goals last season for Lincoln College in Illinois and chose USF over perennial power North Carolina, among others.
-- Kelli Pry (sitting at 1 under par after two rounds) and her team are both in fourth place at the Sir Pizza Cards Challenge in Westin after the first day of action.
-- The men's tennis team is in Gainesville to play the Gators this afternoon after winning a 4-3 squeaker over UNF on Saturday.
-- If you don't have anything better to do tonight, head over to Orlando to see the baseball team play UCF at Batrapist Field.