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Cover your eyes when South Florida and Cal play


Mike Miller

Let’s be honest: Cal vs. South Florida tonight won’t be for everyone. In fact, it may just turn you off basketball for the night.

Cal (24-9) emphasizes defense through physical play, led by Pac-12 player of the year Jorge Gutierrez. The Bears won’t dominate you, but they’re not a team to be overlooked. But they’ve had plenty of issues this season and have lost three of their last four games, often in ugly fashion.

That’s music to South Florida’s ears.

If there’s a team in the NCAA tournament that wants to slow everything down and use defense to completely dominate a game, it’s the Bulls. Nothing they do is pretty.

“That’s what we want to do,” coach Stan Heath said on Tuesday. “We want to disrupt you. We want to smell your breath. We want to get underneath your skin. We want to make life miserable for you.”

So. Expect a slow game (probably less than 60 possessions) with a strong emphasis on defense. No team in a South Florida game has topped 60 points in eight games. Cal’s done that just twice in its last four.

Good help our eyes.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.