Who: Tulsa (11-5, 4-0 AAC, 34 RPI) vs. USF (7-10, 1-3 AAC, 186 RPI)
Where: The Very Large USF Convocation Location On The Southeast Corner Of Campus
When: 11 a.m. today!
Why: Because those tickets aren't going to scan themselves and get you your priority points, Bulls Club members.
Spread: Tulsa by 6.5
You can factor this, or you can factor that:
Tulsa's good. I know, right? The Cradle of Coaches is 36 in the RPI, though only 1-3 against the Top 50. They do it with defense, allowing just 0.893 points per possession which is 35th in the country. They also do a great job of giving you just one look at the basket, as the Golden Hurricane are ninth in the country in defensive rebounding at 78.0%.
After getting Miami in so much trouble with the NCAA they opened a field office on Calle Ocho, followed by a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing at Mizzou, Frank Haith seems to have failed upward in Oklahoma. This team is aggressive defensively and gets to the line at the highest rate in the AAC. They're tough and physical, though most of their scoring comes from the starting backcourt duo of James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison, who both average over 15 points a game.
USF is going to struggle with Tulsa's size and defensive intensity. They have a much bigger backcourt that should give Anthony Collins and Corey Allen Jr. problems, and Ruben Guerrero will probably get killed on the glass by Tulsa today. It's simply a size and talent issue. But USF will most likely continue to play hard because that's what they do. They'll get knocked down, and most likely get up again, only to get knocked down again. There just aren't enough weapons for the Bulls to find a way to win a game like this.
USF is also 2-8-1 ATS over their last 11, so a cover isn't looking good either. But they played well against Tulane, and a missed runner by Anthony Collins and a putback by Ruben Guerrero was the only thing keeping the Bulls from a win in regulation last Sunday. Maybe they can summon another performance like that today. This team does play hard, and eventually they're going to find a way to make some 3's. Being 332 of 351 nationally from three-point range this season (27.9%) is USF's Achilles heel.
At some point, USF is going to make shots against someone eventually and win a game they shouldn't. But it would be a tall order for that to be today.
Also: USF Women vs. UConn tomorrow. Honestly, we're WAY more excited for that one. And yes, there will be a full preview (they let me in practice and their film room yesterday) and Game Thread for that forthcoming.