Lunardi: Temple, La Salle and 'Nova in tourney

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Temple's #1, Khalif Wyatt, right, doeshis best to fight off LaSalle's #21, Tyrone Garland, left, as he is bronging the ball down the coaurt. Temple won 82-74. Big Five matchup. La Salle at Temple. Game action 02/21/2013 ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

Joe Lunardi, a college basketball analyst for ESPN, still believes Temple would be one of the last four teams in the NCAA tournament if the field was picked Tuesday.

Lunardi, known as Joey Brackets, first elevated the Owls (19-8) from one of his first four teams out after Thursday’s 82-74 victory over La Salle.

The St. Joseph’s graduate also predicts that Villanova, Kentucky and Mississippi will join Temple as the last four teams heading into Tuesday night's NCAA tourney games. He believes the Wildcats (18-11) will remain there despite Monday’s 66-65 setback to lowly Seton Hall.

The Explorers (19-7) also remain in his most recent bracket, which was released Tuesday.

La Salle, he thinks at the moment, would be the No. 11 seed in  the West Regional and face No. 6  Pittsburgh in a second-round game at the West Regional in Salt Lake City. Lunardi had the Explorers as his No. 11 seed in the East Regional on Friday.

His prediction for the Owls is to get a No. 11 seed, putting them into the first-round, or "play-in" game in Dayton, Ohio, against Mississippi in the East Regional. The winner would face No. 6 Colorado State in second-round game in Lexington, Ky. He believes the Wildcats will get a No. 12 seed and face Kentucky in a West Regional “play-in” game in Dayton. The winner would play No. 5 Ohio State in a second-round game at Kansas City, Mo.

Lunardi's current prediction also has five Atlantic Ten teams in the field of 68.

He has St. Louis as the No. 6 seed in the South Regional. Butler is seventh in the Midwest Regional, while Virginia Commonwealth is eighth in the West Regional.

Meanwhile, CBSsports.com bracketology expert Jerry Palm also has Temple, La Salle and Villanova in his updated tourney bracket.

His current prediction has the Owls as the No. 10 in the West Regional, putting them into a second-game against No. 7 Pittsburgh in Salt Lake City. The Explorers, he thinks at the moment, would be the No. 11 seed in the East Regional and face No. 6 Colorado State in a second-round game in Dayton, Ohio. And he believes the Wildcats would receive the No. 11 seed in the West Regional. They would meet No. 6 Ohio State in a second-round game in Lexington, Ky.

Temple entertains Detroit on Thursday at the Liacouras Center. La Salle hosts Duquesne on Saturday at Tom Gola Arena, while Villanova travels to Pittsburgh on Sunday.

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