Temple to open with Cornell in tourney

Ramone Moore and Temple, the A-10 champions, will face Cornell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Atlantic 10 Tournament champion Temple earned a 5 seed and will open NCAA Tournanent play against 12th-seeded Cornell at 12:30 on Friday at Jacksonville, Fla.

And for Temple coach Fran Dunphy, the opposing coach will be a familiar face. Cornell is coached by Steve Donahue, who was an assistant coach at Penn, under Dunphy. Donahue and Dunphy were together for 10 years at Penn.

“I would have rather see any other name except for Cornell because Steve and I are such good friends,” Dunphy said. 

Cornell (27-5) was the Ivy League champion.

The Owls have made the NCAA field the last 2 years, but lost in the first round each time. Last year, Temple fell to Arizona State, 66-57. In 2008, the Owls lost to Michigan State, 72-61.

“We’ve been there two years," Temple guard Ryan Brooks said. "Now we want to go there and win some games this time.”

Temple’s last victory in the NCAA Tournament was in 2001, when the Owls defeated Penn State, 84-72, in a regional semifinal before losing to Michigan State, 69-62

The Owls (29-5) defeated Richmond, 56-52, in the Atlantic 10 title game at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Sunday afternoon. It was the third consecutive A-10 Tournament title for coach Fran Dunphy’s Owls.

Temple sophomore Juan Fernandez was the tournament’s Most Outstanding Performer after averaging 16.3 points per game in the Owls’ three victories.

The Owls come into the NCAA Tournament having won 10 consecutive games.

The Temple-Cornell winner will play the winner of Wisconsin-Wofford.


About 12th-seeded Cornell: 


12 CORNELL (27-4)


Location: Ithaca, N.Y. Conference: Ivy League.

Bid: Automatic. RPI: 48. Strength of Schedule Rank: 205.

NCAA Tournament Record: 0-5 (0 Titles, 0 Final Fours).

Last NCAA: 2009, Lost in first round to Missouri, 78-59.

Head Coach: Steve Donahue.

School and Overall: 144-137 (10 years).

Probable Starters, Pos., Hgt., Yr., Pts., Reb., FG%, FT%

Chris Wroblewski, G, 6-1, So., 8.9, 2.7, 43.5, 86.7

Louis Dale, G, 5-11, Sr., 11.9, 2.9, 46.2, 81.8

Jeff Foote, C, 7-0, Sr., 12.3, 8.2, 62.3, 58.8

Ryan Wittman, F, 6-6, Sr., 17.5, 4.0, 46.5, 85.7

Jon Jaques, F, 6-7, Sr., 6.9, 2.6, 52.7, 79.2

Other Key Players

Geoff Reeves, G, 6-5, Sr., 5.4, 1.2, 49.6, 86.7

Errick Peck, F, 6-6, Fr., 3.5, 1.6, 39.8, 76.0

Mark Coury, C, 6-9, Jr., 2.4, 2.5, 53.2, 61.5

Adam Wire, F, 6-5, Jr., 1.9, 2.5, 53.9, 60.0


About the Big Red: Donahue, a Cardinal O’Hara High grad who was an assistant at Philly U. and Penn before heading to Ithaca in 2000, is creating his own dynasty, having won three straight Ivy titles ... Cornell, which has won seven in a row, has victories over power-conference teams such as Alabama, Massachusetts and St. John’s. And don’t forget the Big Red led No. 1 Kansas into the final minute of play in Lawrence ... Wittman is the most consistent scoring threat, inside and outside, but Donahue’s guys can get it done with defense, too. Foote swats away nearly two shots per game and guard Wroblewski is tough to shake.