Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. South Florida Bulls Pick & Prediction MARCH 9th 2024

South Florida will try to extend the NCAA’s longest active winning streak when the No. 24 Bulls visit Tulsa in the teams’ American Athletic Conference regular-season finale on Saturday.

South Florida (23-5, 16-1) has won 15 straight games, most recently knocking off Tulane 85-72 on Tuesday night.

‘It’s really cool, but it’s not for me. It’s cool for our university,” Bulls first-year coach Amir Abdur-Rahim said. “I get text messages from all across the country, ‘Man, do you know how cool that is that people are recognizing what’s going on in Tampa, Florida?’ All across the country. You want an impact. You want to make sure people feel special.”

The Bulls had to win 13 consecutive games just to debut in the AP Top 25 last week, the first time they earned that distinction in program history.

South Florida then beat Charlotte 76-61 on Saturday in its only game last week before it defeated Tulane.

Chris Youngblood scored a career-high 29 points against Tulane while contributing five assists. Kasean Pryor added 13 points and Selton Miguel finished with 12 for the Bulls, who clinched the conference’s regular-season title with the win.

With just its second winning season since 2012, South Florida is in prime position to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since that year.

“Just blessed. Just blessed to be in this position,” Miguel said. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs, but finishing as a champion and finishing with a new family means a lot to me. We’re brothers for lifetime.”

Abdur-Rahim was hired away from Kennesaw State last March, impressing South Florida officials with his high character, stellar recruiting abilities and track record of winning games.

After taking over at Kennesaw State, he won just one game in his first season in 2019-20, bumped that total to 13 wins in his third season, and then capped his final year with the Owls by winning both the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season and tournament titles.

“I’m in the business of molding men,” Abdur-Rahim said. “I want them to know what it’s like at the top. I want them to know what it’s like to be counted on every day, to have to produce every day.”

The Bulls beat Tulsa 69-50 in their first meeting of the season on Feb. 14. Kobe Knox was the leading scorer for USF in that win, with 14 points.

Tulsa (15-14, 6-11) has alternated wins and losses in the past five games, most recently knocking off Temple 72-67 on Saturday.

The 15 overall wins are 10 more than Tulsa posted last season, and the six victories in conference play are five more than a year ago.

PJ Haggerty had 29 points and 10 rebounds against UTSA on Feb. 28 as well as 21 points and five assists against Temple, earning the conference’s Freshman of the Week honors for the 13th time in 17 weeks this season, which extended his conference record.

Against Temple, the Golden Hurricane turned the ball over just eight times, something coach Eric Konkol said has been key to Tulsa wins.

“That’s been the biggest indicator of our success,” he said after his team beat Charlotte 69-67 on Feb. 24, when Tulsa also gave the ball away eight times. “Low turnover games we’ve been able to win. When we turn it over a lot, we lose. That’s the game.”

–Field Level Media

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