Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

A question for Temple fans

Do you really believe your team merits an at-large NCAA Tournament bid?

A question for Temple fans

Here's something for you to debate over the weekend.

I'm reading reactions across the web to Temple's win last night, and found the following on Channel 10's website:

As the final seconds ticked away, Dionte Christmas, Semaj Inge and Sergio Olmos, the last players to play under legendary coach John Chaney, jostled one last win on Senior Night, upending the Hawks 68-59.

Who’s on the bubble now, Joe Lunardi?

After beating St. Joe's, does Temple deserve an at-large NCAA Tournament bid?
Yes
No

Now, I don't know the guy who wrote the piece. But I find it very, very hard to believe that last night's result - a home win over a team with an RPI of 101 - advanced the Owls' cause.

Perhaps it would be a different story had Xavier, or maybe Dayton, been in the house last night. But given the Hawks' stumbles last month, it is my view that this result does not carry enough weight to get Temple into the field of 65.

If the standings hold, Temple would play Xavier in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament and either Rhode Island or Dayton in the final. If the Owls win that semi, it is possible, though a bit unlikely, that they could lose the final still make it in, but it would probably take a lot of results to break their way elsewhere.

The most likely scenario for the Atlantic 10 to get three teams in the field would be for Temple to beat Xavier in the semis, then win the final and have the losing finalist get an at-large bid. Dayton in particular has a strong enough resume for that to happen.

And yes, that is a very similar scenario to what happened last year with Xavier, Temple and St. Joe's.

I can certainly give you a team that played a game in our region last night that is on the bubble: Providence, which also has 10 conference wins. But achieving that in the Big East is a far tougher accomplishment than doing so in the Atlantic 10, especially when you consider that the Friars' worst loss by RPI is to No. 81 Northeastern.

So there's my view of things; I'd like to hear yours. In fact, let's have a poll on the matter.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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