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.
Victor Rudd and Anthony Collins led all scorers with 17 points each.
Next up for South Florida are the 13th-seeded Ohio Bobcats, who upset the fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines 65-60.
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.
Jack Cooley led Notre Dame with 18 points. Jerian Grant and Scott Martin each had 11 points.
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.
Stay tuned to Big East Coast Bias for more news on the tournament. Visit Voodoo Five for more on the South Florida Bulls and One Foot Down for more on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.