WVU then plays in its final Big East Tournament, which begins Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
USF and WVU are generally considered to be in the NCAA Tournament field today, though it could certainly change. The Bulls shook things up with Wednesday's win at No. 19 Louisville. Coach Stan Heath said it was the biggest win in school history, which probably isn't an exaggeration for a team that hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament since 1992.
USF is No. 35 in the RPI and its strength of schedule is No. 19 and there is history to consider, too. The Big East has had 69 teams win at least 12 regular-season conference games and every one of them has made the NCAA Tournament.
WVU, No. 52 in the RPI and No. 12 in strength of schedule, is also eyeballing the past. No Big East team has finished below .500 in regular-season conference play and made the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team since 1994. The Mountaineers can finish .500 and even get a first-round bye with a win against USF and a Seton Hall loss later in the day at DePaul.
USF has additional incentive and can get a two-round bye with a win and either a Marquette win at home against Georgetown or a Providence win on the road at Notre Dame Saturday.
"It's another must-win game for us," Jones said. "They're playing for something and we're playing for something. I think the hungrier, more determined team will win. It's going to be interesting."
The Bulls are one of the bigger surprises in the country. They were 7-6 in non-conference play with losses to Penn State and Auburn, though they were without two of their key players. USF junior guard Jawanza Poland (9.1 points per game) missed the first 11 games and freshman point guard Anthony Collins, whose older brother, Jarmon Durissea-Collins, started at WVU from 2002-2006, missed the first five games. He averages 7.8 points and 5.4 assists per game.
No one on the team scores in double figures, but seven players average between 6.7 and 9.9 points per game. USF lives on defense and holds opponents to 39.2 percent shooting and 57.4 points per game, which ranks fourth and first in the conference.
The Bulls defend with a blend of size and speed and feature a 6 foot, 4 inch and a 6-6 guard and 6-7, 6-8, 6-8 and 6-10 players in the frontcourt. They've allowed 70 or more points three times this season - 70 at Kansas, 75 at Georgetown and 78 at home to Providence - while WVU is 1-10 when it scores fewer than 70 points.
"They're really long and big - really long," Huggins said. "And they've got a lot of people. They just make everything hard. It's very hard to throw the ball in the post or to get shots in the post because it's so hard to get them out of the way."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.