Day & Time: Saturday, November 20, 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Paradise Island, Bahamas
Radio: Cuse.com, ESPN 97.7
Rivalry: 6-5, USF
Current Streak: 1, USF
First Meeting: Syracuse and USF first locked horns back in 1989, with the Orange winning 74-55 at home.
Last Meeting: The Orange and the Bulls last met in February 2013, during Syracuse’s last season in the Big East. USF escaped with a 68-66 win in Tampa after the 18th-ranked Orange blew an 11-point halftime lead. Carmen Tyson-Thomas paced ‘Cuse with 17 points.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Vonn Read (1st year, 2-1) | USF - Jose Fernandez (22nd year, 393-276)
Coach Bio: Fernandez took over a struggling USF program in 2000 and eventually laid the foundation for consistent, long-term success. By the time the Bulls joined the Big East in 2005, they were a perennial postseason contender, stringing together several WNIT appearances. The program has made six NCAA Tournaments since 2012, never getting past the second round.
Last Year: USF finished 18-3 and 13-2 in the UConn-less American. As an eight-seed in the NCAA Tournament, they beat Washington State in the first round before bowing out to top-seed NC State in a competitive 79-67 game two days later.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Sydni Harvey averages 14.7 points per game and is shooting 52 percent from beyond the arc in the early going. She struggled in USF’s 52-49 loss at Tennessee earlier this week but should have a bounce-back game against an Orange defense that is still figuring some things out.
If Syracuse Wins: It would be a nice surprise and a signature victory for Vonn Read. Of course, that means they’d have to play UConn in the next round. I guess that’s a good problem to have?
If Syracuse Loses: They’ll more than likely have a date with Minnesota on Sunday and it could be looooong weekend in paradise.
Fun Fact: There are plenty of interesting teams that the Orange could play this weekend. Besides old rivals USF and UConn, number-one South Carolina is also here. The Gamecocks made the Final Four last season and have Syracuse transfer Kamilla Cardoso on the roster. The odds of that reunion aren’t very high, as the Orange would likely have to make it to the first-place game. Syracuse could potentially face Buffalo and Felicia Legette-Jack, who was recently honored as the first women’s athlete to have her number retired by the university.