With well-wishers on hand to celebrate Temple’s sixth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, coach Fran Dunphy took the opportunity to apologize for the Owls’ poor play in the Atlantic Ten tournament.
Following a first-round bye, Temple suffered a 79-74 quarterfinal loss to Massachusetts for the second consecutive season. It was a game where A-10 player of the year Khalif Wyatt shot 4 of 19 from the field.
“We feel like we disappointed a lot of folks on Friday night,” Dunphy said Sunday to the crowd in the Fox-Gittis room of the Liacouras Center. “We didn’t do our job. So we had a little meeting before this. We weren’t going to come in before we knew we were in.”
Temple (23-9), which watched the NCAA selection in the film room of their practice facility, drew the No.9 seed in the East Regional. It opens tourney play on 1:40 p.m. Friday against eighth-seeded North Carolina State (24-10) at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.
“We still disappointed a lot of folks on Friday,” Dunphy said. “We have to work our butt off to do a good job.
“There are so many people out there that are great, great Temple fans. We need to reward you with some really good play.”