Temple v North Carolina State

Khalif Wyatt, Temple hang on to beat N.C. State

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Leading 38-22 at the half, East Region 9-seed Temple looked poised to put 8-seed N.C. State away with relative ease and pick up the program’s second NCAA tournament victory since reaching the Sweet 16 in 2001 (they beat Penn State in the 2011 tournament).

The Wolfpack would make things interesting in the second half, cutting Temple’s lead to two in the final seconds but they could not get over the hump. The end result is a 76-72 victory for the Owls, who will take on either top-seed Indiana or 16-seed James Madison on Sunday.

Khalif Wyatt scored 31 points (9-of-22 FG) and dished out five assists to lead Temple, but just as important were the 18 points scored by Jake O’Brien. O’Brien scored 13 of those points in the first half, with N.C. State failing on multiple occasions to identify the Boston University transfer.

Temple shot 53.3% in the first half, due to a combination of solid offensive execution and the Wolfpack’s defensive “indifference.”

N.C. State shot 70.4% from the field in the second half (55.8% for the game), with Scott Wood (ten points) finally getting going down the stretch after going scoreless in the first 20 minutes. Lorenzo Brown scored 22 points and handed out nine assist to lead the way offensively for N.C. State, with C.J. Leslie adding 20 points and Richard Howell posting a double-double (14 points, 15 rebounds).

But the Wolfpack’s lethargic start could not be overcome. And with that a season that began with such high expectations for Mark Gottfried’s team ends with a relative whimper, as the preseason pick to win the ACC heads home after just one NCAA tournament game.

As for Temple’s chances on Sunday (against in all likelihood Indiana), they’ll need to take care of the basketball as they did on Friday. Fran Dunphy’s team turned the ball over just five times, converting 13 N.C. State turnovers into 17 points. And getting outscored 48-24 as they did is something the Owls can’t afford to have happen against the Hoosiers.

But when you have a player like Wyatt, who has arguably the best “old man game” in college basketball, you’ve got a puncher’s chance at the upset.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.