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South Florida could earn a double-bye in Big East tourney?


Mike Miller

South Florida now has as many Big East wins as Georgetown. Given the Bulls’ four-game win streak, this was inevitable.

South Florida has fattened itself on the Big East’ dregs – its swept Providence, Pitt, Villanova and beat Rutgers, St. John’s, DePaul and Seton Hall, all of which are below .500 in league play – and is barely even in NCAA tournament consideration. But there it is, sitting at 17-10 overall and 10-4 in league play after Sunday’s 56-47 win at Pitt.

This fact shakes me to my core.

The Bulls should be 7-7. Their efficiency margin, places them as slightly worse than West Virginia, which is 7-7. Or they could be worse. Every other metric thinks they are. Instead, South Florida’s won 10 Big East games for the first time since joining in 2005 and could end up at 12 and even earn a double-bye in the conference tournament. That didn’t seem possible when they were 7-7 overall back on Dec. 28.

But there’s something to be said for beating every team you should beat. South Florida is 9-3 since that date, with the losses coming to Notre Dame, Marquette and Georgetown.

How the Bulls finish is anyone’s guess. If the NCAA tournament seeding committee gives them at at-large is up for debate.

I just know that if they beat Syracuse on Wednesday, they’ll have everyone’s full attention. In a good way.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.