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Cincinnati and South Florida Get Key Wins to Help Secure Likely NCAA Tournament Bids: Fan’s View
Both the Cincinnati Bearcats and the South Florida Bulls got key wins last night, Wednesday, February 29, 2012, against ranked teams that will likely help them secure NCAA Tournament bids. Cincinnati defeated #8 ranked Marquette, 72-61, while South Florida defeated #19 ranked Louisville, 58-51.
I'm a big fan of the Syracuse Orange and the Big East in college basketball. As a Syracuse fan, and a fan of the Big East, I believed both Cincinnati and South Florida belonged in the 2012 NCAA Tournament even before they both won last night. That's because I watched us play and defeat both Cincinnati and South Florida in 2012. Though we beat both teams, both looked like NCAA Tournament teams to me.
Cincinnati Beats Marquette 72-61
With its 72-61 win over the Marquette Golden Eagles last night, Cincinnati moves to 21-9 on the season, and 11-6 in Big East play. In addition to the Marquette win, the Bearcats also have quality wins this season over Notre Dame, Georgetown, UConn, Seton Hall and Louisville.
Six quality wins along with at least an 11-7 record in Big East play and 21 total wins should be enough to get Cincinnati into the NCAA Tournament. The Bearcats have a high RPI though, so they are not yet a lock.
Cincinnati has one game left in the regular season vs Villanova. If they win that game and are 12-6 in Big East play, I just can't see the selection committee leaving them out of the Big Dance.
South Florida Beats Louisville 58-51
With its 58-51 win over the Louisville Cardinals last night, the South Florida Bulls moved to 19-11 on the season, and 12-5 in Big East play. South Florida only has quality wins this season over Seton Hall, Cincinnati and Louisville.
Still, the Bulls are 12-5 in the Big East, and guaranteed to be at least 12-6. With an RPI of 35, South Florida is probably already in the NCAA Tournament in 2012. The Bulls have one game left this season vs the West Virginia Mountaineers. West Virginia is 18-12 and desperately needs a win to make the Big Dance.
In all likelihood, both Cincinnati and South Florida are going to end up with at least 12 wins in Big East play. South Florida is already there, and Cincinnati just has to beat a mediocre Villanova team to get there.
Cincinnati and South Florida Both Likely Locked Up NCAA Tournament Bids Last Night
I don't believe the NCAA selection committee would leave out a Big East Conference team that won two-thirds of its conference games. So I'd be pretty surprised if both South Florida and Cincinnati didn't clinch NCAA Tournament bids with their big wins last night.
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