OWLS STAY HOT:
Since that silliness against Duquesne, Temple (21-8, 9-5 A-10) has not lost. Khalif Wyatt (24 points) performed his usual late-game heroics in 76-70 win over Rhode Island (8-19, 3-11) at the Liacouras Center.
The Owls, tied with Butler for fourth, are also alive for a bye. Temple plays at Fordham and hosts VCU. Butler plays at Massachusetts and hosts Xavier. Butler, which beat Temple, holds the tiebreaker in a two-team tie. If it is more than two teams, it starts to get very complicated.
Temple played without injured Anthony Lee (hip pointer), but the continued good news is Scootie Randall's late season shooting. In his last six games, he has scored 15, 11, 15, 18, 18 and 15 while shooting 16 of 39 from the three-point arc.
MAJOR UPSET AT PALESTRA
No Penn team ever wants to help Princeton, but these young Quakers really needed to help themselves. They did both by upsetting Harvard, 75-72.
Penn (8-20, 5-6 Ivy) never trailed, but they were holding on at the finish. Harvard (17-9, 9-3) lost at Princeton on Friday. If the Tigers win out, they win the Ivy. With one road weekend and a little bit of business at the Palestra on March 12, it will not be easy for Princeton. Nor does Penn want to make it so.
Freshman Tony Hicks had 24 for the Quakers. In his last four games, he has gone for 29, 19, 23 and 24. Fellow freshman Darien Nelson-Henry had 18 points and 11 rebounds against Harvard as Penn shot 52.8 percent. Put those two with seniors Miles Cartwright and Fran Dougherty and junior Henry Brooks next season and Penn could have an Ivy contender.
HAWKS CRUSH RAMS
Big man C.J. Aiken missed the game with a back and left wrist injury, but was not needed as Saint Joseph's (16-11, 7-7 A-10) overwhelmed Fordham, 82-56.
SJU shot 50 percent. Fordham (6-23, 2-12) did not.
Tay Jones (24 points) shot 9-for-15 and 5-for-8 from beyond the arc for the Hawks, who never trailed and were never threatened.
According to coach Phil Martelli, Aiken is "really banged up." His wrist, which he first injured on a monster dunk at Dayton on Feb. 6, is the biggest problem.
Everybody seems to be looking for a reason why SJU does not have a better record. Try this: Other than Ron Roberts, the production of every other player who was a major contributor last season is down.
A DREXEL CLASSIC
The Dragons must be ready for the CAA Tournament. In their regular-season finale against UNC-Wilmington at the DAC, they shot 19-for-62 (30.6 percent) and won 62-46. That is Drexel basketball at its beautiful best.
Drexel (13-17, 9-9 CAA) killed UNCW (10-20, 5-13) on the glass, 56-28 and 18-0 on second-chance points. Big men Daryl McCoy and Dartaye Ruffin had more rebounds (31) than Wilmington.
Drexel will open CAA Tournament play Saturday in Richmond against George Mason in a 4-5 game. The winner gets regular-season champion Northeastern in Sunday's semifinals. Drexel and GMU split in the regular season, each winning on the other's home court.
BE AT PALESTRA ON SELECTION MONDAY
The morning after Selection Sunday (Monday, March 18), the City Six coaches will be at the Palestra for the 15th annual Coaches vs. Cancer Tourney Tipoff Breakfast. They will discuss the bracket and their teams. The breakfast begins at 8 a.m. Tickets and tables remain. Tickets are $75 per person and $1,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer Priority Club Seating (including 10 tickets, premium table location, signage and recognition in the event program). For more information, contact Monica Johnson at 215-985-5358 or email@example.com.
ACROSS THE NATION:
NAME TO REMEMBER
He is the shooter who could get Louisville a championship. He made four threes, including the game's key shot in a win over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.
Why exactly is West Virginia in the Big 12?
Baylor trying a baseline-to-basket long pass with 1 second left against Kansas State. The ball went out of bounds without touching anybody. The ball came back under K-State's basket to set up the game-winner.
THE KELLY/ROAD FACTOR
Duke has not lost a game with Ryan Kelly. Nor have they played a road game with him.
DJ'S TOP 15
1. Gonzaga (29-2): Crushed Portland, 81-52. Mark Few's best team has a chance to win it all. Who has a better pair of bigs? Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk combined for 35 points and 20 rebounds.
2. Indiana (25-4): Beat Iowa, 73-60, in a very ugly defensive game. Teams combined to miss 24 of 27 threes. IU made its only two threes in the final minute.
3. Louisville (24-5): On a day when Peyton Siva missed all nine of his shots at Syracuse, the Cardinals' defense won the day, 58-53.
4. Miami (23-5): Watched Duke shoot 52 percent at Cameron, but had two shots to tie in the final seconds before losing 79-76.
5. Duke (25-4): Ryan Kelly (career-best 36 points, 7 of 9 from three) had the game of his life in his first game back after missing 13 with a foot injury. Team still plays soft on the road.
6. Kansas (25-4): Ben McLemore (36 points) broke Danny Manning's freshman single-game scoring record and Jeff Withey (14 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks) dominated as the Jayhawks crushed West Virginia, 91-65.
7. Georgetown (23-4): Beat Rutgers, 64-51, for 11th straight as the amazing Otto Porter got 28 points and eight rebounds.
8. Florida (23-5): Outscored Alabama 27-7 in the last 12 minutes to win 64-52.
9. Michigan State (22-7): Adreian Payne's 17 points, 12 rebounds weren't enough as Spartans came up short in a 58-57 loss at Michigan Sunday.
10. Michigan (24-5): Trey Burke (21 points) stole ball and dunked with 22 seconds left as Wolverines held off Michigan State, 58-57, Sunday.
11. Kansas State (24-5): Rodney McGruder's three at the buzzer beat Baylor. 64-61.
12. Saint Louis (23-5): Won 11th straight, 66-58, at George Washington as Dwayne Evans had 22 points and 12 rebounds.
13. Chester (24-3): Going for the AAAA threepeat. Good luck trying to beat the Clippers, who have won 74 straight against Pennsylvania teams.
14. New Mexico (25-4): Held Wyoming to 28.1 percent shooting and won 53-42, its fifth Mountain West title in 6 years.
15. Memphis (25-4): Remains unbeaten in Conference USA after 76-67 win over UCF.