The South Florida Bulls mascot celebrates the teams' 58-44 NCAA tournament victory over the Temple Owls last night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images).
On a day filled with NCAA tournament upsets, the Big East was a full participant Friday: The 12th-seeded South Florida Bulls defeated the fifth-seeded Temple Owls, and the seventh-seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish fell to the 10th-seeded Xavier Musketeers.
The Bulls continued to prove their worthiness as an NCAA tournament team, earning their second win, 58-44, over the Temple at Bridgestone arena in Nashville, Tenn. The Bulls defeated the California Golden Bears 65-54 Wednesday in a tournament play-in game.
The defensive-minded Bulls allowed Temple a 13-0 run midway through the first half, but responded with a 24-6 run of their own to start the second half. The Owls responded with 11-0 run of their own but couldn’t get closer than three points on the scoreboard.
The Fighting Irish dropped their opening matchup to Xavier in Greensboro, N.C. The Musketeers erased a 10-point deficit and didn’t look back in notching a 67-63 win.
The Irish fell behind for good with just 22 seconds remaining but could not respond. The Musketeers then iced the game with free throws.
Coming into the game the Fighting Irish held a 15-3 head-to-head record against Xavier, but had lost five of six neutral-site games this season.
Xavier is now 18-3 on the season when holding their opponents season to less than 70 points.