Juan Fernandez beats Penn State with 0.4 seconds left


Streak broken.

17 years to the day since Fran Dunphy’s last NCAA Tournament win, when 11th seeded Penn Quakers knocked off No. 6 Nebraska in the first round in 1994, the Temple Owls advanced past Penn State with a 66-64 win.

After trading baskets for what seemed like the last 10 minutes of the game, Temple opened up a 64-61 lead on Penn State in the final minute, but the Owls lost Talor Battle on a screen and the Nittany Lions’ star buried a 26 foot three to tie the game.

Coming out of the timeout, Dunphy isolated Fernandez, who was forced to pick up his dribble. The rest is, as they say, history. Fernandez threw a pump fake, took a step under the defender, and hit a difficult, off-balance jumper with 0.4 seconds left.

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Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore both finished with 23 points while Lavoy Allen added 12 boards and four blocks as the Owls snapped a streak of three straight years of first round tournament losses.

Dunphy is one of the most respected coaches in the profession. His Penn teams were a regional power, and the Temple program has had a permanent spot at the top of the Atlantic 10 under Dunphy’s watch. But for all of Dunphy’s regular season success, he’s never done much in the NCAA Tournament, with a career record of 1-12. Granted, nine of those tournaments came while Dunphy was at Penn, and the Ivy League doesn’t have a great tradition of postseason success.

Regardless, its good to see Dunphy snap that streak. He’s a great coach, and he deserves this win.

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The Owls will advance to face the winner of San Diego State and Northern Colorado.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.