The South Florida Bulls are about to launch a major attack against the Temple Owls in what will be one of March Madness' biggest upsets of 2012.
After watching the Bulls suffocate the California Bears in the first round of the NCAA tournament, it isn't a stretch to predict that they will be able to shut down the Owls in the same way.
In the game against Cal, South Florida played smothering defense, holding the Bears to a miserable 36.2 percent from the floor (only 21.4 percent from behind the arc). Cal didn’t score over the last 8:55 of the first half, missing 10 shots and turning it over twice while South Florida pulled ahead 36-13.
Temple better be ready for the fight of their lives.
The Owls rely on a high-powered offense to get the job done. During the season they ranked 30th overall in the nation, scoring 76 points per game.
They rely on three guards to score the bulk of their points: Ramone Moore, Khalif Wyatt and Juan Fernandez combined to average 46 points per contest, well above 50 percent of the team's total points per game.
The problem is: The three top scorers for Cal were also guards.
Justin Cobbs, Jorge Gutierrez and Allen Crabbe averaged 40 points per game during the regular season for Cal. But when it came time to face the indomitable defense of the Bulls they couldn't buy a bucket—between the three of them they only scored 22 points and hit only 7-of-26 shots.
This kind of defensive effort isn't new, either.
During the 2011-2012 season, the Bulls had the seventh-ranked scoring defense, allowing only 56.8 points per game.
Augustus Gilchrist and Victor Rudd Jr. are going to dominate the paint and gobble up all of Temple's missed shots, leading to easy buckets and a win.
Strong, steady defense beats high-powered offenses that rely on shooters nine times out of 10.
This upcoming game won't be any different.
The Bulls will destroy the Owls.