But the uneasy team nervously gathered on Sunday to learn their fate in the NCAA tournament in the film room of their practice facility, away from family members, cheerleaders, and university administrators in the Fox-Gittis Room of the Liacouras Center.
Twenty-two minutes into the event, Temple's name came up on the monitors showing the televised tournament selection show. And the seeding was better than the Owls expected.
Temple (23-9) drew the No. 9 seed in the East Regional and will open with a second-round game against eighth-seeded North Carolina State at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday at 1:40 p.m.
"This was a little different in that we had a disappointing effort Friday, and there was some angst that we were ever going to get in here," Dunphy said. "But it never changes the excitement that the kids feel and the fans feel, everybody around the program. And hopefully Philadelphia feels good."
After clinching the third seed in the conference tournament, Temple expected to win its fourth Atlantic Ten tourney title in six seasons.
But following a first-round bye, the Owls suffered a quarterfinal loss to Massachusetts for the second consecutive season. This time, Temple lost, 79-74, in a game in which Wyatt, the A-10 player of the year, shot 4 of 19 from the field.
"I think it's time for us to work hard," Scootie Randall said. "This opportunity gave us a chance to redeem ourselves."
A year ago, they were awarded the fifth seed in the East only to suffer a 58-44, opening loss to 12th-seeded South Florida.
Temple's only opening-game tourney win in the previous five seasons came against Penn State in the 2011 West Regional second-round game in Tuscon, Ariz. A victory over the Wolfpack (24-10) would mark Dunphy's third NCAA win.
Dunphy's NCAA tournament mark is 2-14, a record that dates back to 17 seasons at Penn. The Drexel Hill native is in his seventh season at Temple.
Anthony Lee said he expects to be available for Friday's game. The Owls forward was taken to a Brooklyn hospital in the early-morning hours Saturday with concussion-like symptoms, according to sources. The 6-foot-9 sophomore had been dealing with a severe headache.
Things only got worse when he took an elbow to the head on a hook shot in the first half of Friday's game. About 12:30 a.m., an hour after the game, he was taken to a hospital in an ambulance. He was treated and released. He spent Saturday and part of Sunday at Temple University Hospital.
Contact Keith Pompey at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @pompeysgridlock.