UNCASVILLE, Conn. — South Florida coach Jose Fernandez believes his team has done enough to earn an NCAA tournament bid. He hopes the selection committee agrees.
Inga Orekhova and Courtney Williams each scored 19 points in the Bulls’ 60-56 loss to No. 3 Louisville (30-3) on Sunday in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
Fernandez’s team has been playing extremely well since it has gotten healthy, winning nine of its previous 11 games before the loss to the Cardinals. South Florida’s only losses since Jan. 1 have come to either top-ranked UConn or Louisville.
“I think this team came out and pleaded its case to the NCAA committee,” Fernandez said. “I was proud of our kids’ effort and fight. It’s a tough way to lose, but I think this team still has a lot of basketball left to play this year.”
Louisville coach Jeff Walz was impressed with the Bulls (19-12).
“If they aren’t one of 64 teams in NCAA tournament it’s a shame,” he said.