After winning their first AAC conference title, and conference tournament, the South Florida Bulls earned the No. 8 seed in the Mercado region. upcoming NCAA Tournament. The Bulls will face No. 9 seed Washington State at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday on ESPN2.
The Bulls (18-3, 12-2 AAC) were a lock for the NCAA Tournament, secured the AAC’s auto bid when they defeated Central Florida in the AAC Tournament final 64-54 last week.
This will mark seventh time USF has made the NCAA Tournament (2006, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). Head coach Jose Fernandez has been at the helm for each of the Bulls’ tournament runs.
The one aspect of USF’s tournament runs that has eluded them is getting to the second weekend. The Bulls have been bounced out of the tournament in the first round three times, and have lost in the second round three times. Most recently in 2018 where the Bulls were run out of the gym in the first round versus Buffalo.
Washington State finished 12-11 (9-10 Pac-12). The Cougars are making just their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and first since 1991. Freshman guard Charlisse Leger-Walker leads the team in scoring with 18.9 PPG. Wazzu averages 63.7 PPG, and gives up the same to opponents. WSU is led by College Basketball Hall of Famer Kamie Ethridge. She’s in her third season with the Cougars, and this is their first winning season since 2014-2015.
If the Bulls win in the first round, they’ll likely face No. 1 seed NC State. The path to the second weekend just got a lot harder for the Bulls.
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