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AAC Women’s Basketball Tournament: #5 USF Vs. #12 Tulane

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The Bulls have made the semifinals each of the past five years.

Anthony Vito / The Daily Stampede

Opponent: No. 12 Tulane Green Wave

2018-2019 Record: 15-14, 5-11 AAC

Head Coach: Lisa Stockton (25th year at Tulane)

Date/Time/Location: Friday, March 8 at noon. Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.

How To Watch/Listen: ESPN 3 Bulls Unlimited, iHeartRadio

Series History: Bulls lead series 20-19. Have won last 11 games, and every game since Tulane joined the conference. Last Green Wave win was in 2009. USF won 73-46 and 50-45 earlier this year.

For the first time since the AAC’s inception, the Bulls (16-14, 7-9 AAC) will not have a first round bye in the tournament. USF has reached at least the semifinals in every year and has faced UConn in the finals of the tournament each of the past four seasons.

Let’s meet Tulane.

Tulane

The Green Wave average 61.7 points per game and allow 59.9 points per game. Tulane is especially good at defending the three-point line. Their opponents are shooting just 26.4% from behind the arc this season, which is good for eighth in the country.

Sophomore forward Krystal Freeman leads Tulane in scoring, averaging 14.3 PPG and she also leads the team in rebounding with 7.4 per game. She scored 17 points in the first meeting with USF this year, then scored 8 points in the second game.

The Bulls will have to worry about closing out on sophomore guards Kaila Anderson and Sierra Cheatham from behind the arc as they’re shooting 34.5% and 34.2%, respectively. Anderson has also dished out 125 assists this year.

Anderson, Cheatham, and freshman point guard Erin Gutierrez each have over 30 steals, and three more Green Wave players have over 20. On the flip side, four players have at least 65 turnovers.

Tulane has lost eight of their last nine games, but by an average of six points. Sound familiar?

Expect an up-and-down game with a lot of turnovers and stout defense. If Enna Pehadzic can hit some shots and get post players Tamara Henshaw and Shae Leverett involved early, the Bulls should cruise.

Route to the (Semi)Finals

Even in the Season From Hell, the Bulls have a decent-to-very good chance of making it to the semifinals once again.

They’ve beaten Tulane twice, then would face #5-seed Houston, who the Bulls beat by ten less than two weeks ago and when they face the Cougars earlier in the season, the Bulls lost by two. The unfortunate thing if USF wins those two games, they’ll face UConn in the semifinals.

First Round - Friday, March 8

  • No. 5 USF vs. No. 12 Tulane - Noon ET (ESPN3)
  • No. 8 ECU vs. No. 9 SMU - 2 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
  • No. 7 Tulsa vs. No. 10 Wichita State - 6 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
  • No. 6 Temple vs. No. 11 Memphis - 8 p.m. ET (ESPN3)

Quarterfinals - Saturday, March 9

  • 5/12 winner vs. No. 4 Houston - Noon ET (ESPN3)
  • 8/9 winner vs. No. 1 UConn - 2 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
  • 7/10 winner vs. No. 2 UCF - 6 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
  • 6/11 winner vs. No. 3 Cincinnati - 8 p.m. ET (ESPN3)

Semifinals - Sunday, March 10

  • Saturday afternoon winners - 4 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • Saturday evening winners - 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Final - Monday, March 11

  • Semifinal winners - 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)