Tuff Win (archive post)

For all intensive purposes Temple’s dramatic last second win over Penn State can be called “Juan for the Ages”. Juan Fernandez, Temple’s junior point guard came up big when it mattered most, and was able to find his shooting touch that vaulted him to A-10 stardom last year when he led the league in three point shooting percentage. Helped by a stellar second half by Ramone Moore the Owls clawed their way to the third round. However, the road to the Sweet 16 for the Owls has an extremely large speed bump seemingly blocking its path.

#7 Temple Owls vs. #2 San Diego St. Aztecs. Tuscon, AZ. 3:10pm, Saturday.
Temple – It is fairly clear what the Owls MUST do to stay in the game with the athletically superior Aztecs, slow the game down, keep up the consistent ball movement on the offensive end, play high-intensity defense, and try to keep the rebound discrepancy respectable. If the game sets up to be a run and gun show the Aztecs will blow out the Owls, however, if the Owls take good shots and keep the turnovers to a minimum they will be able to set up defensively, a move that will help them thwart the Aztecs offense as much as possible. A slower, more methodical game points in the Owls favor. If Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore can continue their phenomenal play the Owls could steal the game.

San Diego St. – In their first round game the Aztecs looked like two teams from the first to the second half. In the first Northern Colorado, the 15 seed, was able to stay with the Aztecs, leading many people to wonder how the Mountain West Conference champion Aztecs reeled off 33 wins in the regular season and were given a two seed in the tourney. The second half showed why. With hot three-point shooting from sophomore James Rahon, and superior interior rebounding the Aztecs played lights out in the second half on their way to an easy win. They are easily the more physical, more athletic, and more talented team, but are notoriously slow starters. With so much focus being placed on guards Kawhi Leonard and D.J. Gay, the real threat to the Owls is 6’8” power forward Billy White, who was kept quiet in the first half but was the key component in the second half trouncing.

PickSan Diego St. Despite wanting to put Temple in the Sweet 16, it is too tall of a mountain to climb. The Owls will be able to keep it close, but ultimately lack the firepower to threaten for the win.

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