Rapid Reaction: Indiana 58, Temple 52
March, 24, 2013
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com
DAYTON, Ohio -- Quick reaction to Indiana's 58-52 win over Temple:
Overview: If it seemed impossible for Dayton's second Round of 32 game to live up to the thrill of the first, think again: Another top seed was sent to the ropes by a game challenger -- in this case, the Temple Owls and their fearless star Khalif Wyatt -- and another huge shot in the final moments was the difference between a massive upset and a survive-and-advance moment for No. 1 seed Indiana.
Turning point: With just over two minutes left to play, Temple's floor spacing once again left the Hoosiers' interior exposed, and forward Anthony Lee caught the ball near the rim for what appeared to be an easy two-handed dunk -- one that would have put Temple up by four. Instead, Christian Watford made a from-nowhere block and came up with the ball in the ensuing scramble.
Just 60 seconds later, after Victor Oladipo caught a long Wyatt rebound and got a full head of steam in the open court, Wyatt anticipated his crossover and timed his defensive slide perfectly -- and was called for a questionable foul that sent Oladipo to the line.
His one make -- and an ensuing stop by the Hoosiers -- set Indiana's Oladipo up to make the wide-open 3 that put IU up by four with just 15 seconds left.
Key player: Wyatt. Yes, Wyatt played for the losing team, but so what? He was the reason Temple was even in this tournament, let alone this game -- he scored 31 of his team's 52 points (on 12-of-24 shooting and 9-of-12 from inside the arc) in an often breathtaking display of old-school scoring craft -- and almost single-handedly controlled the game with his "I got this" mentality. He smiled, he talked, he thrilled at the stage, and it's a performance we shouldn't overlook.
Key stat: The game was in the balance in large part because the Owls did everything they needed to halt Indiana's efficient offense: They held the Hoosiers' shooters to just 19-of-45 on the afternoon and just 4-of-13 from 3, and they avoided turnovers of their own, preventing the Hoosiers from playing in the fast break. But for free throws -- of which IU shot 20 and made 16 -- Temple handled Indiana's attack as well as any team this season.
What's next: Indiana moves on to the Washington, D.C., regional Sweet 16; Temple ends its season 24-11.