As upsets continue, Hoosiers have been sufficiently forewarned

As if the Indiana players needed any more reminders about what can happen in the NCAA tournament, West No. 1 seed Gonzaga was topped by No. 9 seed Wichita State Saturday night, 76-70.
That No. 9 vs. No. 1 dynamic will play itself out in an NCAA East Regional game today at the University of Dayton Arena, when top-seeded Indiana faces Temple. The Owls reached the game by holding off N.C. State, 76-72, in the first game of Friday’s sessions.
Moments after that game, Temple’s leading scorer Khalif Wyatt, who had 31 points against the Wolfpack, was asked which team he wanted to play next.
His answer: Indiana.
He was asked about that during Saturday’s interview sessions at the arena.
“I think it will be a good challenge for us,” said Wyatt. “That’s why you play basketball. You want to play against the best. It’s a good challenge for us, a great opportunity for us, and we’ll be ready for it.”
Wyatt even said the bruised thumb on his left hand won’t be used as an excuse if he struggles against the Hoosiers.
“It’s good. It’s a little sore right now, but it will be fine. It will be fine (by game time).”
None of the Temple players are afraid of challenges. An Atlantic 10 team, the Owls played a tough non-conference schedule with games at Villanova (W, 76-61), against Duke (L, 67-90), at Syracuse (W, 83-79) and at Kansas (L, 62-69).
Coincidentally, the winner of today’s game will face Syracuse on Thursday in a Sweet 16 game in Washington, D.C.
The Hoosiers have said they prepare for every opponent the same, but they’ll have to prove it early on Sunday.
The Owls don’t mind mixing it up. While Coach Fran Dunphy’s teams are known to have high basketball IQs, they can push the envelop with their defensive principles. They deflect passes, they tug on jerseys as opponents enter the lane, and they’re all in when it comes of crashing the offensive and defensive boards.
Indiana guard Victor Oladipo said the only thing that matters is which team plays the best basketball on Sunday.
Even though a win would buy him a trip home to the D.C. area, Oladipo isn’t taking anything for granted.
“If we’re fortunate to get to the next round, then you know it’s going to be an exciting experience,’ said Oladipo. “But there is no next round if we don’t get the job done (against Temple).
“If you’re in this tournament and playing at this time, you’ve got to be good, which is why you’ve got to be ready to play every night.”

This entry was posted in College Basketball, Uncategorized by Randy Beard. Bookmark the permalink.

About Randy Beard

Randy Beard has been at the Courier & Press since 2007 and became the sports editor in 2012. He has previously been a sports editor at the Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. He began his professional sports journalist career in 1976 and has spent his career primarily covering college sports in the ACC, SEC and Big Ten. He's also covered the NFL, the original North American Soccer League and professional tennis and golf. He's covered two Super Bowls, three college football national championship games, dozens of NCAA basketball tournament games, an Olympics, a World Cup and once hung out with soccer legend George Best for two days and sat in a golf cart with Jan Stephenson.

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