It's obvious that Temple (23-9) is way past the excitement associated with making the NCAA field. The Owls are focused on defeating eighth-seeded North Carolina State in their matchup at 1:40 p.m. Friday at the University of Dayton Arena. It would mark Temple's second victory in six straight NCAA tournament appearances.
"Yeah, as Khalif said, we've all got a chip on our shoulder," senior swingman Scootie Randall said. "We have something to prove. . . .
"We don't want to go home too soon. So we know we've got a chance to change that, and that's just our mind-set right now."
One good thing for Temple is that post player Anthony Lee has recovered from a concussion and has been cleared to play.
"I'm definitely playing," the sophomore said.
Time will tell how long Lee, who averaged 24.4 minutes, remains in the game. "It's hard to predict," coach Fran Dunphy said.
Temple's game plan will be the same regardless. The Owls want to hold the Wolfpack (24-10) to fewer than 70 points.
"They're a really talented group," Temple reserve forward Jake O'Brien said. "They've got a lot of weapons on the team. They can score the ball, they can really score it with high efficiency. We are really going to have to defend."
N.C. State averages 77.5 points and has scored 80 or more points 19 times this season. The Wolfpack averaged 68 points in their 10 losses.
The Owls will focus on containing forwards C.J. Leslie (14.9 points, 7.4 rebounds), Richard Howell (12.7 points, 10.7 rebounds) and T.J. Warren (12.4 points), and guard/forward Scott Wood (12.7 points).
"They really don't have a position with their three, four and five, and they all can do the same thing," Randall said. "We're going to have to limit the isolations they do for Leslie and keep everybody up front. . . . So we're just going to have to be tougher than them and prevent the isolation plays."
On the other side of the court, Wyatt is determined not to duplicate his 4-for-19 shooting performance in last week's 79-74 loss to Massachusetts in the Atlantic Ten tournament.
"I'm just ready to play," said Wyatt, the A-10 player of the year, who averaged a conference-best 19.8 points. "I've got a bad taste in my mouth personally by the way I played against UMass. . . . I get another opportunity to make myself forget about that and this is the perfect stage. I just want to have fun."
Contact Keith Pompey at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @pompeysgridlock.