Temple tries, but Indiana prevails
Temple's players huddled near midcourt, their emotions still raw after letting an historic upset slip away in the final minutes.
The Owls couldn't finish what they started.
As they consoled each other, Indiana coach Tom Crean joined them to offer some comfort.
"He told us we were the toughest team he played all year," Temple star guard Khalif Wyatt said. "He just wanted us to keep our heads up."
Temple pushed Indiana's season to the brink before folding in the final minutes and losing 58-52 on Sunday to the top-seeded Hoosiers, who were lucky to advance in the East Regional.
Wyatt scored 31 points -- 20 in the first half -- but the Owls, who led 52-48 with less than three minutes left, were outscored 10-0 by Indiana down the stretch.
"It was fun while it lasted," Wyatt said.
The Owls (24-10) nearly became the third Philadelphia school to knock off a No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament in Dayton Arena, which has hosted more tournament games that any venue. But minutes away from joining Saint Joseph's (1981) and Villanova (1985) as giant killers in Ohio, the Owls fell apart.
"It would have been a great victory for us if we had found a way," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "It's disappointing we're not going to be moving on."
Victor Oladipo hit a key 3-pointer with 14 seconds remaining and the Hoosiers (28-6) clamped down on defense in the closing minutes to set up a regional semifinal with No. 4 seed Syracuse on Thursday in Washington, a rematch of the classic 1987 title game won by Indiana.
Crean knew his team had been fortunate to escape, and he went out of his way to tell Temple's players they could hang with any team in the Big Ten, the nation's best conference this year.
"I have great respect for great competitors," Crean said. "I haven't always been great after the end of games, but I did that because they were all there together. Those young men don't know me and I don't know them, but I have unbelievable respect for them. If they were in our league, they'd be fighting for a championship, too. They're that good."
Oladipo, who spent the afternoon doing all he could to slow down Wyatt, scored 16 and Cody Zeller added 15 for the Hoosiers.
After Oladipo's long 3 put the Hoosiers up 56-52, Indiana had to buckle down on Wyatt, the Atlantic 10's Player of the Year, who was having one of those games that turn stars into superstars.
But on Temple's last possession, Wyatt was way off with a 3-pointer from the right wing with six seconds left and Indiana's Christian Watford grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
In the other East Regional game Sunday:
Miami 63, Illinois 59: Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with a minute left and Miami (29-6) kept possession on a ball knocked out of bounds that probably should have gone to Illinois (23-13), helping the Hurricanes hold on for the victory.
After Larkin's first field goal in about 91-w minutes, D.J. Richardson missed a 3-pointer. In the fight for the rebound, the ball appeared to ricochet off the hands of Miami's Kenny Kadji out of bounds. But the Hurricanes kept the ball, and Durand Scott made two free throws after that.
Larkin, the only non-senior starter for Miami and the ACC player of the year, finished with 17 points.
In a Midwest Regional game Sunday:
Duke 66, Creighton 50: Let upsets take down other heavy favorites. Duke is back to business as usual.
Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points, Seth Curry scored had 17 and Duke held off Creighton to advance to the round of 16 for the fourth time in five years.
A year after they lost their NCAA tournament opener, the Blue Devils (29-5) are back in the regional semifinal for the 23rd time. They'll play No. 3 seed Michigan State (27-8) in the regional semifinal Friday in Indianapolis.
Mason Plumlee, Josh Hariston and Ryan Kelly battled foul trouble all game long, but Creighton (28-8) went cold and never made a serious run in the second half.