Amidst the tranquil desolation that is Dayton, Ohio, burning couches provide a somber backlighting to the battle to come.
In one corner, you have the resurgent South Florida Bulls, thrilled to be back in the Big Dance for the first time in 20 years. In the other, you have your sturdy Golden Bears, eager to prove that the end of the season slide was just a blip on the radar.
It will be strength on strength as Cal tries to run their efficient half-court offense against the aggressive buzz-saw that is the Bulls' defense. On the other end, the Bears need to exploit South Florida's tendency to turn it over while encouraging them to shoot their normal low percentage. Our game preview can be found here, and the Q/A with the South Florida sports blog is here.
The Bulls like to overplay passing lanes, close out on shooters, and deny drives to the basket. Our guards will have to bring their mid-range games and be ready to make some jumpshots.
Will it be beef for dinner, or peanuts on the plane ride home?
Tip-off: 6pm (PST)
TV: TruTV (Channel #246 for DirectTV)