Posted on: March 19, 2011 9:31 pm

San Diego State outlasts Temple in two OTs

Posted by Jeff Borzello

Although the first weekend of the NCAA tournament has had plenty of great endings and game-winning shots in the final seconds, it took until Saturday night to get bonus basketball in the second or third round.

It wasn’t the most exciting or aesthetically-pleasing game, but San Diego State and Temple gave us some of the best drama of the tournament so far in the Aztecs’ 71-64 win. It wasn’t until San Diego State went on a 10-3 run in the second overtime that the result was finalized.

Billy White led the way for San Diego State with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while fellow frontcourt mates Kawhi Leonard and Malcolm Thomas combined for 29 points, 18 rebounds, six assists, four steals and four blocks.

San Diego State seemed on the verge of winning in regulation, leading by seven with six minutes left. Temple went on a 9-2 run to send it into overtime, with Chase Tapley missing a baseline jumper in the final seconds.

In the first overtime, Temple took a three point lead, before Thomas finished a three-point play with two minutes left to tie the game. Thomas would miss an inside jumper at the end of the overtime.

Temple struggled in the second overtime. The Owls’ shots all fell short for the most part, and they couldn’t get defensive stops when needed. Leonard iced the game for San Diego State with two free throws, followed by a steal and dunk.

The game wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t the most memorable of match-ups, but it was still 50 minutes of drama.

Sometimes, quantity outdoes quality. 

More NCAA tournament coverage
Posted on: March 17, 2011 4:39 pm
Edited on: March 17, 2011 5:11 pm

Two to tango: Moore, Fernandez sink Penn St.

Juan Fernandez celebrates his game-winner over Penn State

Posted by Eric Angevine

We all knew Ramone Moore could score. The Temple junior accepted the challenge of playing an extended game of H-O-R-S-E with Penn State's do-it-all senior Talor Battle, scoring 23 points on a variety of backdoor cuts and crafty moves to the hoop.

Battle, who averaged 20.1 points per game this season for the Nittany Lions, matched Moore's output perfectly, also dropping in 23, including a seeming game-winner from the parking lot with 11 seconds left in the game.

But it takes two to tango, and nobody knows that better than Argentina native Juan Fernandez. The real forbidden dance was created in Buenos Aires, after all. With the game on the line, the junior calmly dribbled down the court, moved inside the arc with a defender on his right hip, and stepped through to put up the buzzer-beater to move his Owls into the third round with a 66-64 final score.

With that bucket, Fernandez tied Moore and Battle for game-high honors, tallying a 22nd and 23rd point for himself. It was a somewhat surprising outburst for a player who had seen his scoring average drop to 10.7 points per game this season as he concentrated on distributing the ball more.

Battle, well-accustomed to doing most of the work himself for the Nittany Lions, had plenty of help as well. Tim Frazier and David Jackson went a combined 3-6 from deep to add 29 points for Penn State. PSU coach Ed DeChellis was forced to scramble in the second half when big man Jeff Brooks dislocated his shoulder on a block and was unable to return.

Temple advances to the first weekend for the first time under Fran Dunphy, and awaits the winner of the No. 2 San Diego State vs. No. 15 Northern Colorado matchup to be played today. Amusingly enough, the last time the Owls advanced, under John Chaney in 2001, they beat Penn State to advance to the Elite Eight.

Photo: US Presswire
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Posted on: March 12, 2011 2:13 am
Edited on: March 12, 2011 2:14 am

A-10 semifinals a perfect storm of intrigue

The Atlantic 10 conference tournament is currently a nightmare for the last teams on the bubble. Friday’s action was something of a perfect storm for fans of bid thieves, as the A-10 featured multiple upsets. No matter what happens on Saturday, the league will have one of the most intriguing title games come Sunday.

Dayton and Xavier kicked Friday off in impressive fashion, with Dayton jumping out to an early lead over the regular-season champion. Xavier came back, only to see Luke Fabrizius hit two foul shots with six seconds left to give Dayton the win. Shockingly, the ninth-seeded Flyers will face No. 12 Saint Joseph’s in the semifinals. The Hawks defeated Duquesne in overtime, 93-90, behind 28 points from Carl Jones.

The bottom of the bracket was far more normal, with Richmond and Temple both advancing. The Spiders kept their at-large hopes alive by beating Rhode Island, while the Owls dominated La Salle to cruise into the semifinals.

Dayton (9) vs. Saint Joseph’s (12): The Flyers came into the season as one of the favorites in the Atlantic 10. They have been a disappointment for the most part, but they are just two wins from rectifying the situation and getting to the NCAA tournament. Saint Joseph’s struggled all season, having two separate losing streaks of at least six games. The battle at the point guard position will be entertaining, with Carl Jones of SJU going against assist extraordinaire Juwan Staten. The Hawks might not have the frontcourt personnel to battle with Dayton’s Chris Wright and Marcus Johnson.

Temple (2) vs. Richmond (3): A rematch of the Spiders’ last loss, a 20-point defeat on the road. Richmond has done what it needed to do in order to stay in the at-large race: avoid bad losses and continue to win. A win over the Owls would likely clinch a bid. The key for Richmond will be its ability to knock down the 3-pointer. Temple is vulnerable on the perimeter, and the Spiders make a killing behind the arc. On the other side, Richmond needs to keep Lavoy Allen off the offensive glass. The battle on the perimeter between Richmond’s Kevin Anderson and Temple’s Juan Fernandez will also be fun to watch.

Updated Atlantic 10 Tournament Bracket

Photo: US Presswire

Posted by Jeff Borzello

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: February 23, 2011 2:46 pm

Video: Previewing Temple vs. Duke

Posted by Eric Angevine

For a writer, covering the Duke Blue Devils is already a plum job. Now, it's getting even easier, as Kyrie Irving is pretty much writing headlines for them on his Twitter feed:

Look out for a @dukeblueplanet video coming soon of one of my rehab sessions...I'm definitely op(toe)mistic!!
Op(toe)mistic. Yep, he went there. I think the New York Post has a job waiting for Mr. Irving when he graduates is done with his lengthy pro career.

On to the game.

Temple @ Duke, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2: Temple is by far the best defensive team in the A-10, but Duke is behind only Texas in the running for best defensive team in the entire nation. That, plus a quiver full of offensive weapons and the biggest home-court advantage in college hoops, makes the W very unlikely for the Owls. Still, it's an excellent marquee non-conference matchup for two ranked teams. At bare minimum, it should be a test for the Devils, who rarely face a defense this tough in this year's ACC.

Also on:

Wisconsin @ Michigan, 6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network | Video Preview

Tulsa @ Marshall, 7:00 p.m., CBS College Sports

Baylor @ Missouri, 9:00 p.m., ESPN2 | Video Preview

Kansas State @ Nebraska, 9:00 p.m., ESPNU

New Mexico State @ San Jose State, 11:00 p.m. ESPN2

See the full schedule
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 17, 2011 5:26 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2011 5:39 pm

Spiders and Owls look to break A-10 logjam

Fran Dunphy has had Temple in and out of the Top 25 all season long.

Posted by Eric Angevine

Xavier is once again the class of the A-10 conference. Their league-leading 10-1 mark includes one win apiece over each of the three teams bunched up one game behind them. Temple, Richmond and Duquesne won't get a shot at revenge unless it comes in the A-10 tournament, so the best any of them can do right now is beat each other and hope for the Musketeers to slip up.

Tonight's marquee early matchup is one of those contests that will force a breakup in the logjam at 9-2 in the league standings. The Richmond Spiders travel to Philly to take on the Temple Owls in the Licorice Liacouras Center, with each team hoping to come away with a resume-boosting win.

"It's difficult for teams at our level," Richmond coach Chris Mooney told a writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, "because you don't have as many opportunities [for eye-catching wins], from the selection committee's perspective."

The Spiders and Owls have done just about everything possible to get those eye-catching wins. Temple owns wins over Georgia, Maryland and Georgetown from the non-conference season, and will play the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils on February 23. Richmond stacked their schedule with Purdue, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Seton Hall and Wake Forest, losing only to the Yellowjackets. The Purdue win holds up, but the other three wins have become nearly meaningless through no fault of the schedule-makers. Richmond just happened to choose Power Six opponents who fell flat en masse this season.

Under Fran Dunphy (above), the Owls have become an elite defensive squad. Mooney's Richmond team -- the first in the A-10 to reach 20 wins this season -- revolves around the senior trio of Kevin Anderson, Justin Harper and Dan Geriot. This won't be an easy out for either team.

With that in mind, tonight's game (7:00 p.m. ET, CBS College Sports) will help settle two burning questions: Which of these teams can stay in the hunt with Xavier? and How many teams can the A-10 get into the NCAA tournament?

We'll know more before bedtime tonight.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: January 15, 2011 11:42 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2011 11:45 pm

Five Takeaways from Saturday's games

Posted by MATT JONES

1.       Top two escape at home:  With Duke losing earlier this week to Florida State, next week’s top two teams will be Ohio State and Kansas. However both squads got quite a test from unlikely opponents at home on Saturday. Ohio State was forced to rely on a clutch performance from the top freshman in America, Jared Sullinger, who produced a key three point play with 13 seconds to go and the score tied, in order to beat surprising Penn State. The Buckeyes trailed at times in the game and looked more vulnerable than at any point in the past few weeks, potentially giving future Big Ten opponents insight into how to beat its multi-pronged attack. As for Kansas, it slept walked through much of the game, falling behind by ten points to Nebraska early in the second half at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks did just enough to survive down the stretch, but its 63-60 win suggests that its previous close calls to Michigan, UCLA and USC aren’t simply aberrations, but are par for the Jayhawks’ course. While both teams will go into next week, Nos. 1 and 2, they also both look quite beatable by virtually any team in their respective conferences


2.        No lead is safe:  Vanderbilt had to assume its quick 17 point lead against rival Tennessee would be enough to help it win in Knoxville and slam the door shut on the Vols’ bizarre season. But a late run led by Scotty Hopson helped the Vols to a comeback victory that gives them a slim sliver of life left in the SEC. With Bruce Pearl not yet halfway through his suspension, the win kept Tennessee from opening up conference play 0-3 and showcased that even though its fans were ill-prepared for the rivalry game (only 500 or so people showed up for a College Gameday taping before the game), its players weren’t ready to demolish the season just yet. Even more impressive was the absurd comeback by Louisville, which looked on the verge of NIT land when down 18 to Marquette at home with 5:44 left. But with a late dash of steals, quick scores and four Preston Knowles three-pointers, it made one of the more improbable comebacks in recent college basketball history. For Rick Pitino, the game means his team keeps its head above water in the Big East, while Marquette’s Buzz Williams has to live with one of the worst coaching and team collapses in recent memory.


3.       Florida disappoints again:  No team is more impossible to predict this season than the Florida Gators.  The same team that won impressively in road games at Tennessee and Xavier, has fallen at home to Central Florida, Jacksonville and today, South Carolina. The 72-69 loss to the Gamecocks comes right as I was about to take Florida seriously once again. It looked tremendous in its gutsy win over the Vols in Knoxville and the combination of Alex Tyus, Chandler Parsons, Erving Walker and Kenny Boyton seemed to give the Gators enough multiple scoring threats to make them scary in conference play. But now after the loss, we are left with the same Florida team that has disappointed so often in the last three years. Inconsistency, thy name is Florida.


4.       San Diego State and Texas A&M are legit:  If you saw San Diego State in the pack of unbeatens and determined that they were simply a fluke beneficiary of fortunate scheduling, I hope you took note of today’s 87-77 win at New Mexico.  The Aztecs controlled the game at the Pit, led by D.J. Gay’s 30 points and an impressively diverse set of offensive options that make them a terror to try and defend. While New Mexico isn’t a Top 25 team, it is talented and a win in one of the best home courts in America is proof that Steve Fisher’s group is not to be taken lightly. Similarly, if you were ready to assume that No. 13 Texas A&M was going to fade in Big 12 play, that conclusion also may need to be revisited. The Aggies won a hard fought 91-89 Overtime victory over Missouri that showcased what a talent it has in Sophomore Khris Middleton. His name spelling is similar to the Aggies as a team, surprising and orthodox, but potentially with the win over Missouri, now a contender for best in a suddenly deep Big 12 conference.


5.       A-10 and Conference USA Flops: Both the Atlantic 10 and Conference USA leagues consider themselves to be worthy of respect and national attention and often shun the notion that they are “second-tier” leagues in college basketball. When one of the leagues has a dominant team, it is thus good for its image as a potential national power, as showcased by St. Joseph’s and Memphis in recent years. Until today, both teams thought another such team could exist this year, but Temple and Central Florida both laid an egg in humiliating road defeats. Neither Temple’s 78-66 loss to Duquesne nor Central Florida’s 86-69 defeat at Southern Miss was ever close and both defeats exposed the weaknesses of the previously ranked teams. For now at least, both leagues will suffer from diminished attention due to the lack of power at the top of the standings.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com