USF playing a key Big East game? It's hard to believe, but a win over Georgetown today would keep the Bulls in the Big East's top four teams.
Grab some coffee and donuts and get in front of your TV, because this morning the South Florida Bulls resume Big East play with an important matchup against the 14th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas at Verizon Center in Washington. Tipoff is set for 11:00am, with TV coverage on ESPNU.
The Hoyas (17-4, 7-3 Big East) have a legitimate claim as the Big East's second-best team. They knocked off Alabama and Memphis twice in non-conference play, once in Maui and again in a scheduled game in D.C. They also have wins over Louisville and Marquette inside the Big East, and Wednesday night they stifled UConn 58-44. Junior forward Hollis Thompson led Georgetown with 18 points and nine rebounds, and the Hoyas' tough defense held Connecticut to just 30% shooting.
South Florida (13-9, 6-3 Big East) hasn't played since Sunday afternoon, when they held off Providence 81-78 in Tampa. Even with the high score (it was the first time all season the Bulls gave up more than 70 points), USF actually kept the pace relatively slow and piled up the points by shooting 51% from the field. Anthony Collins had a career-high 15 points, while Hugh Robertson, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, Augustus Gilchrist, and Ron Anderson Jr. also scored in double figures. The Bulls survived some late-game mental mistakes and a phenomenal effort from Providence's LaDontae Henton, who lit them up for 33 points.
Don't expect an 80-point outburst out of either team today. Both teams prefer a deliberate tempo on offense, and they both play strong half-court defense. Rather than 80, it could be the first team to hit 60 that wins today's game.