South Florida Stifles Cal in NCAA Play-In; Will Meet Temple Next

California Bears forward Harper Kamp has his shot blocked by South Florida Bulls forward Augustus Gilchrist during the first round of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Dayton Arena. USF defeated Cal 65-54 (Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE).

The South Florida Bulls defeated the California Golden Bears 65-54 in classic style last night: with defense and ball control. The game, played in Dayton, was the last of four NCAA tournament play-in games to bring the field to 64 teams, nine of which are members of the Big East Conference. Cal mustered only 13 points in the first half and was held scoreless over the last nine minutes of that frame to head to the locker room with a 23-point deficit.

Next up for USF, on Friday, is a team that will soon be a familiar foe: the Temple Owls.

In conference action later today, the Louisville Cardinals square off against the Davidson Wildcats (1:40 PM), the Marquette Golden Eagles face the BYU Cougars (2:45 PM), the Syracuse Orange meets the North Carolina-Asheville Bulldogs (3:10 PM), the West Virginia Mountaineers battle the Gonzaga Bulldogs (7:20 PM) and the Connecticut Huskies take on the Iowa St. Cyclones.

In other news and views from around the conference:

The Nova Blog asks Can the Big East Live up to Its Billing?

The Georgetown Hoyas have already finished first in one NCAA basketball tournament competition: tuition. Should Georgetown, or any other Big East team advance to the Final Four, the conference stands to gain $9.5 million in revenue.

Jim Boeheim thinks the Orange will be OK in the tournament without center Fab Melo.

UConn's Jim Calhoun is winning the game of praise.

The Seton Hall Pirates' next opponent in the NIT Tournament is the UMass Minutemen.

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