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NCAA Tournament 2012 Scores: Why USF Will Play Cinderella

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: head coach Stan Heath of the South Florida Bulls coaches Ron Anderson Jr. #1 of the South Florida Bulls and Jawanza Poland #5 of the South Florida Bulls against the Villanova Wildcats during their second round game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 7, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Alex HallCorrespondent IIIMarch 15, 2012

Last year college basketball fans witnessed VCU pull a George Mason, making it to the Final Four. This year, USF is going to pull a VCU.

The Bulls are just one win short of their program's single-season record and the Temple Owls will oblige them with that victory whether they like it or not.

With wins against Louisville and Seton Hall, paired with a near-upset against UConn, the Bulls are for real and have a relatively easy road to the Sweet 16.

"There was a team last year (VCU) that people thought shouldn't be in [the tournament] and they got to the Final Four" Coach Stan Heath told Yahoo! Sports.

When the Bulls get passed Temple using their smother defense, there's a fair chance they could meet the Bobcats of Ohio instead of favored Michigan.

Michigan is one of the teams I see being upset in the first round of the tournament, which would leave USF facing off against 13th seeded Ohio in a game where they would certainly be favored.

Freshman guard Anthony Collins has played lights out for South Florida and that momentum should play over into the rest of the tournament.

It may have gone unnoticed by some, but Coach Heath was named the Big East coach of the year this season for his work down in South Florida, notching 12 victories within the conference this season.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07:  Ron Anderson Jr. #1 of the South Florida Bulls reacts during the game against the Villanova Wildcats during their second round game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 7, 2012 in New
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Some analysts worry the fact that USF have no players averaging double-digit points entering the tournament, but when you're a defensively minded team that stat doesn't hurt you as long as you're shutting down the opposition's offensive efforts.

The Bulls give up an average of 56.9 points per game, which was the best in the Big East this year. While Temple is a fine squad and will certainly give USF trouble, the Bulls will enter the contest with momentum from their First Four victory and propel themselves past Ohio in the round of 32.

Now, after all is said and done the Bulls will most likely have to take down North Carolina to emerge from the Mid-West, but hey, it's March Madness and crazier things have happened.

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