How Temple exposed Syracuse
Plus Jeff Withey's POY candidacy and a key change for Kansas State
Up until this weekend, did you think the Atlantic 10 race was shaping up rather nicely as a cut-and-dried showdown between the league's two newest members, Virginia Commonwealth and Butler? Me too. (Though I'm keeping an eye on Saint Louis, as well.) Then Temple beat No. 3 Syracuse 83-79 in Madison Square Garden. Any team that can record a win against Jim Boeheim's group at the Garden is a force to be reckoned with, surely.
If Fran Dunphy's team turns out to be as good as it looked against the Orange (as opposed to what we saw from it three days earlier, when it lost to Canisius by 10 at home), the Rams and the Bulldogs will have some competition at the top of the A-10. But before we get that far, I'm here to give the rest of the league an advance scouting report on the Owls. Don't foul them.
John Wooden once said, "Basketball is not a complicated game, but we coaches complicate it." In that spirit, not fouling Temple is a no-brainer. The Owls rank a so-so No. 141 in the nation in 2-point accuracy and an abysmal No. 271 from beyond the arc. But Dunphy's men are shooting 73 percent at the line, good for No. 83 nationally. And against Syracuse, Temple was 29-of-36 at the line (81 percent). The Owls won this game at the free throw line.
To read the full story on Syracuse, plus other takeaways from Saturday's big games, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- UNC inviting athletes back to finish degrees
- Ex-Baylor star Austin: NBA offered job too
- C-USA chief: 'Second 5' will still be relevant
- Source: Mudiay signs deal to play in China
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game