DAYTON, Ohio – My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Indiana’s 58-52 victory over Temple in Sunday’s East Regional third-round game here at the University of Dayton Arena:
Best performance: As much as I wanted to give this award to Temple;s Khalif Wyatt, it had to go to Victor Oladipo. While Wyatt led all scorers with 31 points, the Hoosiers won the game thanks to Oladipo’s late heroics. The junior guard put the clamps on an exhausted Wyatt in the final six minutes. Then the Hoosiers took their first lead of the second half when Oladipo’s foul shot made it a 53-52 game with 1 minute, 19 seconds left. His uncontested three-pointer with 15 seconds left gave the Hoosiers a 56-52 cushion.
Worst performance: Folks on Twitter are blaming Scootie Randall for this loss. I’ll agree that the Temple swingman had the game’s worst shooting performance. But the worst overall performance goes to his teammate Will Cummings. The Owls point guard was held scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting. He also had more fouls (four) than assists (one) and steals (one) combined. He was extremely ineffective in 23 minutes of action. Now, Randall did miss all 12 of his shot attempts en route to finishing with three points. But the recent graduate led Temple with nine rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots. He also tied Wyatt with a team-high two steals. At least, Randall contributed in some fashion. Cumming was just out there.
Best defensive performance: Oladipo gets this award for locking Wyatt down late in the game. The Atlantic Ten player of the year missed his only two shots - both three-pointers - during the final six minutes.
Best performance in a losing effort: This was an easy one, because it was the Wyatt show for a long time. Thanks in large part to his 20 first-half points, the Owls led, 29-26, at intermission. At one point, the Norristown native went on a personal 6-0 run while scoring 13 consecutive points for Temple. His back-to-back baskets gave the Owls a 41-35 lead with 9:59 left. It was their largest lead of the game.
Worst statistic: You have to give this to Temple’s three-point shooting. The Owls shot 3 for 24 (12.5 percent) on three-pointers.
Best statistic: This award goes to Temple’s foul shooting. The Owls didn’t get to the line much. But when it did, Temple made 7 of 8 foul shots (87.5 percent).
Best prediction: Let’s just say this was a hard game to predict. No one came remotely close to predicting the outcome of this game on Twitter
Worst of the Worst: Randall (0 for 12), Cummings (0 for 5) and O’Brien (0 for 4) went a combined 0 for 21 in the six-point setback. Like Cummings, O’Brien did not score.
Best of the Best: This goes to Temple's band. The Owls were rocking the entire game. Man, if the hoops squad was half as good as its band, La Salle wouldn't be the only local team in the Sweet 16.