Temple Basketball: The Owls Are Finally Getting Respect

Manny GeraldoCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2012

Temple has earned respect.
Temple has earned respect.

A 10-game winning streak delivers a few things to a basketball team.  It instills confidence in a team as they wind down the season. It begets fear and trepidation in opposing teams. It also garners the recognition of the polls, and a top-25 ranking.

Both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and the AP rank Temple at No. 22. The Owls are finally getting what Miss Aretha Franklin requested in 1967— a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Temple's ascent to the Top 25 could not have arrived at a better time. With four games remaining in the regular season, the Owls and their blue collar, Broad Street swagger have the moxie to close out their regular season Atlantic-10 Conference play on a 14-game winning streak.

The Owls are favorites for the A-10 crown, but the road to their fourth A-10 championship in five seasons likely passes through an overachieving Saint Louis team that is only one half game behind Temple for first place.

Temple defeated the Billikens at their house on January 11, 72-67. Saint Louis is clamoring for A-10 respect, and they have their eyes set on a championship. However, the Owls of now are battle tested, healthy and possess the pride of a team that has been winning handily. With arguably one of the best trio of guards (Ramone Moore, Khalif Wyatt and Juan Fernandez) in the entire country, Temple has the talent and ability to dominate the upcoming A-10 tournament. 

Temple is currently sitting at 21 wins. If they reach 25 wins, the Owls can expect either a sixth or seventh seed in the NCAA tournament. If the Owls reach 28 wins (four more regular season wins and another three A-10 tournament wins), they will be deserving of a fifth seed. With such a high seed, the Owls will be truly getting the respect they deserve.

My bold prediction is that Temple is a Sweet 16 team. They are eight players strong, and their defense is tough enough to lead them there. The only thing better than Temple getting the respect is Temple getting the wins. The next month of play will surely be exciting times for this Temple team.