The South Florida Bulls will chase their second ever NCAA Tournament win tonight when they square off against the Atlantic 10′s Temple Owls. This evening’s game, which marks the first ever meeting between the two schools, is scheduled for a 9:50pm ET start at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee (TNT). 2012 NCAA Bracket Predictions have Temple listed as a -2.5 against the spread favorite; the Over/Under is set at 121 points.
South Florida, a 12 seed out of the Big East, garnered its first ever NCAA Tournament victory on Wednesday night with a 65-54 upset of the Cal Golden Bears. The Bulls, now 21-13 on the season, were on fire offensively in the First Four contest, shooting 57.1 percent from the field. Victor Rudd Jr., South Florida’s second leading scorer at 8.7 points per game, led the impressive effort with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Of course, the Bulls bread and butter, defense, was the biggest factor in the win as they limited the Bears to 21-of-58 from the field, which included a 3-for-14 effort from beyond the arc.
South Florida, a sixth place finisher in the Big East this season with a 12-6 conference record, will need a similar performance to get past the Owls tonight. Temple, which owns a 24-7 record, won the Atlantic 10 this year with a 13-3 conference record and it features two dynamic scorers in Ramone Moore (17.7 ppg) and Khalif Wyatt (17.1 ppg).
The Owls, winners in 13 of their last 15 games, were unexpectedly ousted in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, though, losing to eighth seeded Massachusetts 77-71. Temple won the rebound battle 36 to 28 and it hit 7-of-17 from beyond the arc; however, its inability to defend the perimeter (UMass hit 9-of-16 from three point range) led to its early demise.
South Florida offensive limitations could end its season tonight, but the Bulls defense could give the Owls enough trouble to keep this game close. The Bulls have proven to be quite good at that of late, covering the number in nine of their last 11 games.
South Florida vs Temple 2012 NCAA Bracket Predictions: Provided by Bovada.lv
South Florida Bulls +2.5 (-110), Over 121 (-110)
Temple Owls -2.5 (-110), Under 121 (-110)