Jordan Hulls will play in his 134th game, a school record, when Indiana meets Temple Saturday in the NCAA East Regional.
DAYTON, Ohio (WDRB) – Temple was a minor bracket-buster during Friday's NCAA Tournament play. Sure, the Owls were only a nine-seed beating an eight-seed (North Carolina State) but they were also a four-point underdog. Indiana coach Tom Crean knows that Fran Dunphy of Temple is one of the best coaches in America.
Indiana sits as an 11 ½-point favorite when the Hoosiers play Temple Sunday in the East Regional at the University of Dayton. Ken Pomeroy's computer model actually likes Indiana by 15 with a win probability of 88 percent. Jeff Sagarin's predictor computer rankings favor the Hoosiers by nearly a dozen.
Five other facts about the Temple-Indiana matchup:
1. Khalif Wyatt Can Be A Pain. Look behind the box score. Temple guard Khalif Wyatt was voted Player of the Year in the Atlantic 10 Conference. He averages more than 20 points per game. But he hasn't always been the league's Citizen of the Year.
According to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Wyatt was arrested for engaging a prostitute and then resisting arrest in Atlantic City, N.J. last June while celebrating his 21st birthday. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to perform community service.
Temple coach Fran Dunphy has benched Wyatt several times over his career while working with him to accept his role on the team.
"In the beginning he had his way of doing things and I had mine," Dunphy said. "We were trying to get together on it, but he was a pain in the butt sometimes, you know, and he'll be the first to tell you."
Now, coach and player have reached a working form of détente. Not only will Wyatt finish his eligibility at the end of the season, he will also leave Temple with a degree.
2. Temple Likes It Close – It's hard to imagine any team in the country has played more close games than the Owls. In fact, Fran Dunphy's team played five straight one-point games from Feb. 2 to Feb. 16, losing two, winning three.
For the season, Temple has played 13 games decided by five or less, including their NCAA opener Friday, a 76-72 victory over North Carolina State.
3. Oladipo Not On Temple's Radar – Indiana forward Victor Oladipo is an East Coast guy who played high school basketball at DeMatha High School in suburban Washington D.C. Temple recruits the East Coast for most of its guys. Oladipo's game reminds some of Eddie Jones, one of Temple's greatest players.
The Owls did not recruit Oladipo.
"We did not," Dunphy said. "We had a guy at his position. It's one of those things where you're not trying to load up at any one position."
4. The Magic Number? Try 80 – Temple has allowed 80 or more points in six games this season. Four of the Owls' nine defeats have come during those games. When Indiana scores 80 or more, the Hoosiers are 18-1. Butler beat Indiana, 88-86.
5. Jordan Hulls – Mr. Indiana Basketball. The Temple game will be Hulls' 134th as a Hoosier. That will be a school record, moving Hulls one game ahead of Jeff Newton and Randy Wittman. Considering Hulls attended Bloomington South High School and was of Crean's first commitments, there is something fitting about the achievement.
"Growing up in Bloomington and being able to play for my hometown university has been pretty special for me," Hulls said.
"When you have somebody like that, he's already established his place, like Christian (Watford) has, [as one of] the older guys in the history of Indiana basketball and deservedly so," IU coach Tom Crean said.