University of South Florida coach Jose Fernandez knows his team has done enough to get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. He just hopes the selection committee agrees.
The Bulls fell just short against top-seed Notre Dame, falling 75-66 on Sunday in the Big East tournament quarterfinals.
"Hopefully we showed the NCAA committee and everyone in the country that we belong in the NCAA tournament," Fernandez said.
The Bulls (21-10) were led by senior sisters Andrell and Andrea Smith, who combined for 45 points. Andrell had 27, hitting 10 of her 16 shots.
"I was happy that Andrell had such a good game," Fernandez said. "She had been struggling a little bit offensively. To ask her to guard an All-American for 40 minutes and play as well offensively, that was a great performance."
The two have played together forever and will miss that when their season ends — whenever that may be.
"It's fun playing with this girl," Andrell Smith said, pointing to her sister. "She's my best friend on and off the court. She makes me better as a competitor, player and person."
The Smith sisters just couldn't overcome Notre Dame (29-1) and Natalie Achonwa, who had 20 points and 20 rebounds.
"Achonwa's numbers were record setting at Notre Dame — 20-20 is a phenomenal accomplishment," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said.
It was the first 20-20 in tournament play since Rebecca Lobo did it in 1993.
Skylar Diggins, the Big East player of the year, added 15 points for the second-ranked Irish.
NO. 1 BAYLOR 77,
OKLAHOMA STATE 69
Brittney Griner had 30 points and 10 rebounds, as Baylor (31-1) held off a late charge by Oklahoma State (21-10) in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.
NO. 3 UCONN 94,
Breanna Stewart scored 21 points to lead Connecticut (28-3) past DePaul (21-11) in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
NO. 4 STANFORD 51,
NO. 14 UCLA 49
Amber Orrange capped a career-high 20-point performance scoring on a spinning drive with 8.3 seconds left, and Stanford (31-2) won its seventh straight Pac-12 Conference tournament title, edging UCLA (25-7).
NO. 6 DUKE 92,
NO. 15 NORTH CAROLINA 73
Freshman Alexis Jones scored a career-high 24 points and Duke (30-2) claimed its eighth Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title by routing North Carolina (28-6) in the title game.
NO. 19 TEXAS A&M 75,
NO. 7 KENTUCKY 67
Kelsey Bone had 18 points and 15 rebounds, with most of her production coming in the second half, and Texas A&M (24-9) beat Kentucky (27-5) to win the Southeastern Conference tournament championship.
SAINT JOSEPH'S 61,
NO. 11 DAYTON 54
Chatilla van Grinsven's 19 points helped Saint Joseph's (22-8) snap Dayton's 15-game winning streak in the Atlantic 10 Conference semifinals. The Flyers (27-2) hadn't lost since Dec. 30 against Bowling Green.
NO. 13 LOUISVILLE 62,
ST. JOHN'S 55
Sara Hammond had 22 points and 11 rebounds to help Louisville (24-7) beat St. John's (18-12) in the Big East tournament quarterfinals.
NO. 24 VILLANOVA 61,
Kayla Alexander matched her career high with 34 points and Syracuse (24-6) withstood a rally to beat Villanova (21-10) in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
BIG SOUTH: Tolu Omotola scored 16 points as top-seeded Liberty (27-6) won its 15th league tournament title in the past 17 years after a 54-45 victory against Longwood (14-19).