Yes, it was only a game. And with just one miss from freshman point guard Anthony Collins, it could have easily gone the other way.
But it was hard not to see the 46-45 win by USF over Cincinnati this weekend in the larger context of USF's recent budget fights.
After the last-minute clutch win, USF President Judy Genshaft went running onto the court at a packed Tampa Bay Times Forum. The usually-reserved Genshaft was jumping up and down at the Bulls' best season ever.
Genshaft had a pretty good week in politics as well, working to reverse most, if not all, of the state Senate's budget cuts targeting the unversity.
On Florida Matters, I talked with her about the larger issues surrounding that budget fight, and how it fits with the whole USF Polytechnic kerfluffle.
We aired part of that interview last week, and it was so popular, we're going to air an extended interview on Tuesday's show at 6:30 p.m.
In that interview, we talked about a lot more than the budget fight -- for example, basketball.
"We’re on a roll. We’re on a roll. This is good," she said about the men's basketball team.
And she talked about USF's decision to stay with the Big East, even as other schools (like WVU in my home state of West Virginia) are leaving.
"I am bullish on the Big East," she said.
"I believe we have built a group of schools across the United State that will be even stronger than before, and more interesting, because we are the only conference which goes from one end of the continent to the other.
"I think it will be very interesting for us to have this kind of opportunity to play east schools as well as west schools," she said.
By the way, we're also including Sen. JD Alexander's side of the story as much as we are able. We have an open invitation for him to join us for an interview at his earliest convenience. We're still waiting for a reply.
And anytime we interview Genshaft, we get questions about WUSF's relationship with the university. Here's a post we hope answers them.
Here's the press conference from a very happy and relieved USF Coach Stan Heath, via tampabay.com.