How to fake it as a USF basketball fan
College basketball season is underway, and if you want to catch a game, look no further than our very own University of San Francisco men's team.
Catch up quick: Last year, USF made its first March Madness appearance since 1998, and already, the Dons are off to a strong start this season with a 6-1 record.
The intrigue: Whether USF reaches the NCAA tournament again, especially after the team's former head coach Todd Golden left to take the University of Florida job.
- Meanwhile, Stanford and Cal men's basketball fans might consider hopping on the USF bandwagon since both teams are looking pretty stale this year.
If you do go to a game, here's how to fake it as true fan:
Top players: Khalil Shabazz, No. 0, is USF's top scorer so far this season, averaging 15 points per game. He considered entering the NBA draft or transferring to another school after last year, but ultimately decided to stay for his senior season.
- Tyrell Roberts, No. 1, transferred from Washington State and is now the team's second leading scorer.
The lingo: Technically, USF plays at the War Memorial Gymnasium, but it's better known as "The Hilltop," since it's situated at the top of Lone Mountain.
- Their mascot, a "don," is a reference to Spanish nobility. The team's nickname used to be the "Grey Fog," but that changed in the 1930s.
Bill Russell connection: The late, great Bill Russell played college ball at USF, where he helped the Dons capture NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956.
- But the eleven-time NBA champion had a strained relationship with his alma mater that wasn't resolved before he died this summer.
Local knowledge: Try 4505 Burgers and BBQ on Divisadero Street for a pregame dinner and drinks.
- Or, if you have time and are feeling a little fancy, check out Automat on McAllister Street.
- After the game, head to Barrel Head Brewhouse on Fulton Street.
What to watch: Some home games to consider attending...
Dec. 21 vs Arizona State: USF's toughest non-conference game of the season against one of the Pac-12’s best teams.
Jan. 5 vs Gonzaga: Reportedly these tickets sold out within hours of going on sale, so seeing the Dons take on the nation’s 14th-ranked team might cost a pretty penny.
- Last season against the Zags, 3,138 fans packed The Hilltop, over its capacity of 3,006.
Jan. 14 vs Saint Mary's: Right now, Gonzaga and Saint Mary's are the only two teams from the West Coast Conference that experts are picking to make March Madness.
- A win against the Gael's would go a long way in bolstering USF's tournament chances.
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