Dayton OH: The Madness that is the NCAA Tournament begins with the First Four from Dayton Ohio and one of the games features Belmont Bruins taking on Temple Owls. The Winner of this game heads to Jacksonville to take on Maryland on Thursday. Both Temple & Belmont are making their debuts in the First Four. This is also the first time that Temple will be playing Belmont.
Temple heads into the game with a record of 23-9, 13-5 American and off a loss to Wichita State in the Quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament while the Bruins have 26-5, 16-2 Ohio Valley record and come into the battle with the Owls off a loss to Murray State in the Ohio Valley Championship game
Last time in NCAA Tournament:
The Owls took on Iowa in the 2016 NCAA Tournament at the Barclays Center and lost in overtime.
The last time that Temple played in the NCAA Tournament in Dayton was during the 2012-13 season and the Owls would beat NC State and lose to Indiana.
The Bruins last trip to the NCAA Tournament was during the 2014-15 season and they lost to Virginia.
Temple Fran Dunphy: “Excited to be in the NCAA Tournament. Happy to be here in Dayton. Played here a couple of years back, 2013, actually. Two great games here — actually spent a lot of time, obviously, in the Atlantic 10 we came to Dayton often to play games. Appreciate the facility, the crowd and the enthusiasm, the aura that is here at Dayton. So, again, thrilled to be here.”
Belmont Rick Byrd. ” We’re glad to be here. Obviously it’s a real thrill for our players. And I think it’s maybe, hopefully another step for our program. It’s just been 20 years or so since we went Division I. And we’ve been fortunate to play in this tournament seven times previously.
But to be good enough to be selected as an at-large team is a compliment to our kids and everybody who helped this program succeed. So it’s a big deal. And we’re excited about it.
Happy to be playing Temple in the sense that I have so much respect for Coach Dunphy and the kind of coach and person he’s been. And I’m really happy that in his last year he’s made the NCAA Tournament. And if we don’t go further than this, I’ll be glad that Fran Dunphy is going further than this”
Players take on the matchup:
Temple Shizz Alston Jr:
“I think it’s good and bad because Belmont had just as much time to prepare for us as well. We did a lot of film study as soon as Selection Sunday was over. We had film about 8:00 at night, so that was good.”
Belmont Dylan Windler:
“Before we got matched up with them after the Selection Show, I hadn’t seen them play once at all this year. So right after the show I got on ESPN+ to watch a full game — didn’t really have much else to do — so watched a full game, learned a little bit about their guys and what they do.
Obviously they have a really good back court, and their three perimeter guys all averaging over 15 points a game. So they run a lot of pick-and-roll actions. I think at times they kind of just play very free and just play ball dominant with their guards and just try to play free and confident and come off those ball screens and just make plays.
So it’s going to be hard to guard for sure. But I think for our sake, I think, we have a better chance of guarding good perimeter players than getting beat up inside by big post players. So I think it’s a good matchup for us.”
Venue: UD Arena in Dayton Ohio
TV: TruTV at 9:10 PM
Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner & Dana Jacobson
Temple Radio:1210 AM WPHT
Harry Donahue & John Baum
National Radio: Westwood One
Ted Emrich, Austin Croshere