tampabay.com

USF women need to keep proving themselves for NCAA berth

USF in must-win game vs. Seton Hall

By GREG AUMAN
Published March 1, 2007


If online projections are any indication, the USF women's basketball team will have to beat Seton Hall on Saturday - for the second time in five days - to secure one of the last spots in the NCAA Tournament.

ESPN.com and collegerpi.com have USF as one of the last four teams making the tournament, with Seton Hall as one of the best four missing the cut. The momentum of a Pirates win in the league tournament would likely flip-flop the teams.

Projections have USF opening the tournament in Lansing, Mich., with ESPN.com making the Bulls a No. 12 seed and CollegeRPI.com giving them a No. 10 seed.

It takes time

If the Bulls opt to let men's basketball coach Robert McCullum go with two years remaining on his contract, note that first-year coaches in the Big East didn't fare well this season.

The three Big East men's basketball programs that changed coaches Cincinnati, Rutgers and Seton Hall will miss the conference tournament after making the cut last spring.

After going a combined 58-39 last season, including 24-24 in Big East play, the Bearcats, Knights and Pirates had gone 33-50 this season entering Wednesday's games, with an 8-35 conference record.

Quick hit

Making an impact in softball's 13-6 start has been junior Courtney Mosch, a transfer from Syracuse. She leads the Bulls with 13 RBIs and is hitting .306 and has the team's best record at 4-1.

Greg Auman can be reached at auman@sptimes.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/usf.

. BY THE NUMBERS

3.21 Staff ERA for USF, more than four runs better than their opponents'.

6 Unearned runs scored by Florida in the ninth of Tuesday's 10-5 win.

1,011 Fans at the largest home crowd for USF baseball last season.

1,078 Fans at the last game Florida played in Tampa in '05.

2,421 Fans attending Tuesday's USF-UF game at Red McEwen Field.