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Temple Could Have Beaten Indiana with Ease on Sunday Which Is the Worst Part

Mar 25, 2013, 2:24 PM EDT

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This could be 5,000 words, but here’s the gist of it.

Indiana did nothing special on Sunday afternoon. The entire game went Temple’s way.

Hoosiers coach Tom Crean allowed Khalif Wyatt to go off by not matching him with Victor Oladipo until the second half and didn’t expose the Temple interior as badly he could have  until after the intermission. In addition, Indiana did not shoot the ball particularly well from the floor until it began banging inside.

Some of the credit for that last point rightfully goes to Temple’s defense, which held the Hooisers to their lowest point total of the season.

But that’s the story of the whole afternoon. Temple had the necessary breaks go its way and put forth its best defensive effort of the year. The game was there for the taking.

If you’re Temple, it’s not good enough just to hang with an Indiana team
when a trip to the Sweet Sixteen is handed to you on a silver patter.
Temple has the talent to win that game. Sunday wasn’t a moral victory,
and there’s no pride in just being there nor in having given a 1-seed a
good game.

We can sit here (I can sit here) and go over every reason why Temple didn’t win. It would be a long conversation and we’d probably end up talking about the Rice and Alcorn State games for a while.

But this is the succinct version, so here’s the truth — Temple didn’t even need to shoot the ball well to beat Indiana. Look at this total from three:

3 for 24.

Pick a number. Any number. Even a modest one. Add it to that shots made category. What would the final score have looked like? I’m going to pick five. Temple could have shot 33 percent on 24 attempts from three and won by nine. (The Owls, for the record, shot 33.4 percent from three this season, putting them in a six-way tie for 206th in the country.)

Make no mistake, Indiana is a better team than Temple (although the margin probably isn’t as wide as you would assume). For the sake of argument, if they play 10 times, let’s say Indiana wins seven.

Well, one of the three other games played out Sunday in Dayton. Temple had its chance. It couldn’t have had a better chance.