Can Owls avoid first-round exit?

ATLANTIC CITY -- Temple will look to avoid something that hasn't happened since 2007: lose its opening game in the Atlantic Ten tournament.

The 21st-ranked Owls will face eighth-seeded Massachusetts at noon in an A-10 quarterfinal. As the tourney's top seed, Temple had a first-round bye.

Back in 2007, St. Joseph's defeated Temple, 66-62, in the first-round matchup. The Owls followed with 10-consecutive tourney wins and three championship titles before losing to Richmond, 58-54, in last season's semifinals.

Here’s a look at the probable starters, coaches’ records and series information:

PROBABLE STARTERS

TEMPLE (24-6)

32 Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson F 6-6 Jr. 9.1 ppg. 6.5 rpg.

50 Micheal Eric F 6-11 Gr. 9.2 ppg. 8.7 rpg.

4 Juan Fernandez G 6-4 Sr. 11.4 ppg. 3.8 apg.

1 Khalif Wyatt G 6-4 Jr. 17.1 ppg. 2.1 spg.

10 Ramon Moore G 6-4 Sr. 17.8 ppg. 3.5 apg.

MASSACHUSETTS (21-10)

34 Raphiael Putney F 6-9 Soph. 10.5 ppg. 5.7 rpg.

33 Terrell Vinson F 6-8 Jr. 9.4 ppg. 5.1 rpg

54  Sean Carter C 6-9 Sr. 7.8 ppg. 6.2 bpg.

3 Chaz Williams G 5-9 Soph. 16.4 ppg. 6.4 apg

5 Jesse Morgan G 6-5 Soph. 9.8 ppg. 2.5 apg.

Coaches

TEMPLE

Fran Dunphy (444-226 career record)

MASSACHUSETTS

Derek Kellogg (60-63)

SERIES

The Owls have won three straight and six of the last eight series meetings. They hold a commanding, 43-20, series advantage.

LAST MEETING

Wyatt scored seven of his team-high 26 points in the extra session as Temple escaped with a 90-88 overtime victory on Feb. 29 at the Liacouras Center.

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