The USF Lady Bulls are fresh off their 5th conference victory, besting the SMU Lady Mustangs, Wednesday in Dallas, Texas. Sunday Coach Jose Fernandez’s squad will play a nationally televised contest against the Temple Lady Owls, tip-off at high noon in Philadelphia. On the line is second place in the conference standings and potential #2 to tournament seed.
Avoid the Lady Huskies
The #1 seed come conference tournament time is pretty much a foregone conclusion. The University of Connecticut Lady Husky squad has set the benchmark for excellence across all college sports.
Geno Auriemma’s UConn team has won the NCAA title eleven times, a feat matched by no other school in collegiate basketball history. While UConn appears the overwhelming favorite in their quest for a twelfth crown, the USF Bulls have also established themselves as a perennial power.
Perennial National Prominence
Catching the class of women’s college basketball may not be realistic for the Lady Bulls. Finishing the season strong enough to earn another berth in the women’s national championship tournament is realistic. Last week the Sun Dome Arena was treated to Fernandez’s 300th career victory, spanning a stellar 17-years as the Bull’s boss.
During his tenure, Fernandez has led South Florida to a dozen post-season appearances, including seven with more than twenty wins. This year the Lady Bulls have responded with maybe their best year yet. USF already has 15 victories against two solitary losses, one of those to Connecticut at the XL Center in Hartford.
The Giant Comes to the Sun Dome Arena
USF splits the last 10 conference games, half on the road and the other half at the Sun Dome in Tampa. South Florida will sandwich 3 straight Sun Dome games in the middle of a pair of back to road tilts as they head down the final 10 game stretch.
A victory over the University of Cincinnati on February 1st, plus a split in the two games against Temple, and USF could clinch the #2 tournament seed. Earning the second seed means they would be in the opposite bracket from the UConn powerhouse.
Before the tournament time, USF will have one more chance to slay the giant. On Monday, February 27th, South Florida will welcome the all-time winningest team in college basketball to the Sunshine State. If the Lady Bulls continue to play well, USF will have a shot at snapping the longest undefeated streak in basketball history.