Temple has been known for its good players and not-so-good NCAA tournament experiences. Fran Dunphy? Great coach. Disheartening tourney losses.
Well, Juan Fernandez did plenty to change those perceptions Thursday in a duel in Tuscon, Ariz., between two Pennsylvania powers.
The point guard’s jumper with 0.4 seconds to go gave Temple a 66-64 victory over Penn State in a second-round West Regional game at the McKale Center.
The seventh-seeded Owls (26-7) advanced to Saturday’s third-round matchup against second-seed San Diego State, a 68-50 winner over 15th-seeded Northern Colorado.
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The victory marked the Owls’ first in four consecutive tourney appearances.
In the process, Dunphy snapped an 11-game tournament losing streak that dated to his 17 seasons at Penn.
San Diego State 68, Northern Colorado 50: Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and second-seeded San Diego State survived Devon Beitzel’s scoring burst for its first victory in the NCAA tournament.
The Aztecs (33-2), winless in seven prior tournament games, had their hands full with the Bears of the Big Sky Conference in Tucson. San Diego State pulled away behind its defense in the second half, holding Northern Colorado (21-11) scoreless for nearly seven minutest.
Cincinnati 78, Missouri 63: Yancy Gates had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Cincinnati made a successful return to the NCAA tournament with a win over Missouri in Washington, D.C.
The sixth-seeded Bearcats used their stalwart defense to hold the run-all-the-time Tigers to 29 percent shooting in the first half and 38 percent for the game. Cincinnati (26-8) will face Connecticut on Saturday.
UConn 81, Bucknell 52: Guard Kemba Walker continually fed wide-open teammates for easy baskets, finishing with a career-high 12 assists as the No. 3 seeded Huskies defeated No. 14 Bucknell in their NCAA tournament opener at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
The Huskies advance to face No. 6 Cincinnati.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.